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Ohio State Fair accident


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Oh, man. That's a messed up accident. It's quite interesting, though. I hope this doesn't sound morbid, but accidents at state fairs and theme parks are very interesting to me. It's like a subdirectory of my theme park interest. Does anybody else feel the same way?

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I think at this point, the "how" is pretty clear - the floor didn't "come up" and it never rises enough to hit the gondola when it is in its highest position (otherwise how would it load?), but the seats sheared off almost certainly due to metal fatigue. The question now becomes how, and that's a lot tougher. Is it an isolated incident related to what seemed like incredibly minor/cosmetic damage? Average wear and tear? The steel used in construction? We're not gonna be able to figure that out here on a message board.

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Is it an isolated incident related to what seemed like incredibly minor/cosmetic damage? Average wear and tear? The steel used in construction? We're not gonna be able to figure that out here on a message board.

 

Nope, but I'll bet we spend the next 10 pages trying

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Is it an isolated incident related to what seemed like incredibly minor/cosmetic damage? Average wear and tear? The steel used in construction? We're not gonna be able to figure that out here on a message board.

 

Nope, but I'll bet we spend the next 10 pages trying

This looks like a job for...

 

 

 

ARMCHAIR ENGINEER ENTHUSIAST MAN!

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They saw the ride get closer and closer to the ground with every swing. Either they were simply experiencing the terror of the ride as it was intended and are just mistaken, or the floor was indeed rising up.

 

Could be that the force of the ride was slowly bending the arm where it sheered off and with each swing it was weakened and bent more until finally it actually broke, so it could have been getting closer and closer to the ground.

They weren't on the part that broke off. I heard the chick say that they section that broke off crashed into them.

Edited by WestCoasterKing
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The separation clearly ripped hydraulics. That would cause the restraints to fail. One person falls from the broken seat section into another. Then a second person falls.

 

I am certainly not an expert on this but I have to disagree on principle. A safety mechanism would not be required to be held in the locked position by hydraulic pressure. Hydraulics fail more often than we realize. Think about the click-click-click we hear when we lock our restraints on a coaster. That is what is keeping our restraints locked, and each tooth we hear clicking is an extra level of safety. The hydraulics are pressurized to RELEASE the restraints - not to keep them locked. Remember, a safety restraint needs to be locked (safe) with no external power or pressurization - think complete power failure. A coaster car would have no on-board hydraulic system to maintain pressure. While this ride could keep hydraulics pressurized during the ride since the gondola is always meant to be attached, I really doubt that is the case here. Or should I say I really HOPE that is not the case here.

 

Finally, the remainder of the people are still locked in their seats in the aftermath video. I really think the restraint failure was due to the restraint mechanism breaking when contacting another vehicle.

Edited by hauntguy
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Is it an isolated incident related to what seemed like incredibly minor/cosmetic damage? Average wear and tear? The steel used in construction? We're not gonna be able to figure that out here on a message board.

 

Nope, but I'll bet we spend the next 10 pages trying

This looks like a job for...

 

 

 

ARMCHAIR ENGINEER ENTHUSIAST MAN!

*westcoasterking shows up*

 

Yep, he's here.

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I was away on vacation when all of this went down so I know I am a little late to the discussion. I have watched the videos and read the reports. This is one of those accidents for me personally that leaves me questioning my own safety on rides yet I know statistically and logically nothing bad should happen to me while on a ride of any sort.

 

Thoughts out to everyone involved and hope all those that survived pull through fully.

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I was away on vacation when all of this went down so I know I am a little late to the discussion. I have watched the videos and read the reports. This is one of those accidents for me personally that leaves me questioning my own safety on rides yet I know statistically and logically nothing bad should happen to me while on a ride of any sort.

 

Thoughts out to everyone involved and hope all those that survived pull through fully.

 

If Robb and family have survived this long considering all of the Chinese coasters they have been on (including the self-operated ones), I think the accident rate is still very low.

 

 

Actualy, for Robb - how do you and your family feel about safety following this? Not for the industry, but in terms of everything you've been on. Would you skip anything from here on out, or not do any particular rides/parks again?

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I think this answers part of your qustion.

 

I am not ok with this accident in any way. This is not something that should ever happen in a developed country to a real manufacturer ride. I only watched the original video twice and can't bring myself to watch any of the others. This sort of accident is bad for the whole industry and makes even me, a knowledgeable informed rider, question riding or putting KT on real rides. I hope we get a good, full inspection (by someone NOT from the Ohio inspectors obviously!!!) and get to the bottom of this. Wishing the injured the best recovery they can have.
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Actually this came up today. As we were riding the alpine coasters super fast, in the rain, with no brakes...what if the metal just fails and we go flying off. Someone in our group said it and we all thought about it. Do I believe this accident was mostly due to shoddy inspection work due to it being a carnival ride? Yes. But do I think this should have happened to a real manufacturer ride in the USA? No. And that's the scary part.

 

On our last trip to china, robb and I did not ride any of the scary crap at the same time to avoid the possibility of orphaning the child. I didn't think I had to do that here, but I will certainly think more about it in the future.

 

I'm not a rides engineer or mechanic, I trust those people to do their jobs and make the rides safe. Sure I know a bit more about rides than the average person and could notice a few things that could be a problem but my safety is in their hands. Same way I trust airplane mechanics and pilots. I don't know much about that at all! It worries me that some people may not be taking their job responsibilities seriously enough.

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Slightly off topic from the fireball itself... Some of the "low impact" Ohio State Fair rides (giant slide, skyride, kiddie rides) have started reopening today after everything being closed down since the accident.

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I'm not a rides engineer or mechanic, I trust those people to do their jobs and make the rides safe. Sure I know a bit more about rides than the average person and could notice a few things that could be a problem but my safety is in their hands. Same way I trust airplane mechanics and pilots. I don't know much about that at all! It worries me that some people may not be taking their job responsibilities seriously enough.

 

That is what is scary to me - people not taking their job responsibilities seriously enough.

 

I'm not going to go into a ton of details here, but I have witnessed this type of thing where corners get cut due to staffing, or the person responsible for inspections was overloaded with work for whatever reason and it got brushed aside, even though the check boxes were ticked that the inspections were performed. It's very scary to think about something like this happening in the amusement park industry as well as any mode of transportation (particularly airplanes), but I think that it probably does happen, unfortunately.

 

It (according to media and the governor's press conference) sounded like a 3 time inspection was done on the ride, although as someone mentioned earlier, there is no way that they are using Magnaflux, Ultrasound or Shore Durometers on every ride after they set up or take down a ride at every fair.

 

The high forces of gravity likely just fatigued the steel over an extended period of time to the point where it just sheared off.

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The whole question of the NDT on the arms is the big, obvious one now. I'd love to know how frequently it's done (not just the welds, but the whole arm) and how long since it's last one. I don't want to assume that any inspectors didn't do their job yet; they may have done their jobs thoroughly and competently, but just weren't asked to do it often enough. That's just "wait and see" material there.

 

Seems likely to me that what will come out of this will be requiring that to be done far more frequently (if it was required at all? I certainly hope so!), and that can only be a good thing for safety in the long run. Possibly higher prices passed on to riders in the end, but I'll pay a little more to know I'm safe on rides like this.

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They saw the ride get closer and closer to the ground with every swing. Either they were simply experiencing the terror of the ride as it was intended and are just mistaken, or the floor was indeed rising up.

 

Could be that the force of the ride was slowly bending the arm where it sheered off and with each swing it was weakened and bent more until finally it actually broke, so it could have been getting closer and closer to the ground.

They weren't on the part that broke off. I heard the chick say that they section that broke off crashed into them.

 

That's what I'm saying, they weren't on the arm that broke but the arm that was hit I believe was directly across, so they might have watch that arm give way as the ride was cycling

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This company also is the ride company for my local fair in TN. It seems like the last few years the rides look shadier, I thought it was just me being older and more knowledgeable about rides, but maybe not. I don't do fair rides, I'll wait til I'm somewhere with them put in the ground with regular park staff that check.

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The whole question of the NDT on the arms is the big, obvious one now. I'd love to know how frequently it's done (not just the welds, but the whole arm) and how long since it's last one. I don't want to assume that any inspectors didn't do their job yet; they may have done their jobs thoroughly and competently, but just weren't asked to do it often enough. That's just "wait and see" material there.

 

Seems likely to me that what will come out of this will be requiring that to be done far more frequently (if it was required at all? I certainly hope so!), and that can only be a good thing for safety in the long run. Possibly higher prices passed on to riders in the end, but I'll pay a little more to know I'm safe on rides like this.

 

PDF listing of all NDT requirements by manufacturer and ride. Assuming it is accurate there is no requirement to perform NDT on the arm. My guess is that since the manufacturer does not appear to require the testing it has never been performed on the ride.

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PDF listing of all NDT requirements by manufacturer and ride. Assuming it is accurate there is no requirement to perform NDT on the arm. My guess is that since the manufacturer does not appear to require the testing it has never been performed on the ride.

 

That's a bit scary. I would have thought they'd have to at least occasionally test high stress parts of the ride like that. It's not as if no one knew metal fatigue existed before this accident.

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