Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Shuts Down Fire Ball Ride Indefinitely After Deadly Ohio Incident - NBC Bay Area
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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Shuts Down Fire Ball Ride Indefinitely After Deadly Ohio Incident

Officials close boardwalk Fire Ball out of abundance of caution after same ride broke apart at Ohio State Fair, killing 1 and injuring 7

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    The Fire Ball ride at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk was shut down late Wednesday night hours after a deadly incident involving the same ride at the Ohio State Fair. Bob Redell reports.

    (Published Thursday, July 27, 2017)

    The Fire Ball ride at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk was shut down late Wednesday night hours after a deadly incident involving the same ride at the Ohio State Fair.

    One person died and seven were injured Wednesday when the Fire Ball broke apart and hurled riders through the air on opening day of the Ohio State Fair.

    Officials with the Santa Cruz Boardwalk said they closed down the ride out of an abundance of caution, and after a morning inpection, it likely will reopen Thursday.

    Boardwalk spokesman Kris Reyes said officials were planning to inspect the ride Wednesday night, but darkness made it more difficult. So the park will inspect the ride Thursday morning in addition to the usual daily check. 

    Santa Cruz Boardwalk Closes Ride After Deadly Ohio IncidentSanta Cruz Boardwalk Closes Ride After Deadly Ohio Incident

    The Fire Ball ride at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk was shut down late Wednesday night hours after a deadly incident involving the same ride at the Ohio State Fair. Sergio Quintana reports.

    (Published Wednesday, July 26, 2017)

    There are key differences between the Santa Cruz ride and the one in Ohio, according to Reyes. The Fire Ball at the Ohio State Fair is portable, which means it can be taken apart and moved from one event to the next.

    "Our ride is a fixed ride, a permanent amusement ride," Reyes said. "It’s inspected daily as state mandated. California has some of the most stringent ride safety rules in the world."

    Operators at the boardwalk also plan to talk with the manufacturer to see if there’s any special adjustments they need to make after the horrific accident in Ohio.

    On its website, Amusements of America says that since its debut in 2002, the Fire Ball has become "one of the most popular thrill rides on the AOA Midway." The company description of the ride says it swings riders 40 feet above the midway while spinning them at 13 revolutions per minute.

    The man who was killed was one of several people who were thrown when the ride malfunctioned, a Columbus, Ohio, fire official said.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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