Michigan officials discuss safety of fair rides after tragedy in - WNEM TV 5

Michigan officials discuss safety of fair rides after tragedy in Ohio

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Source: CNN Source: CNN
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What was supposed to be a fun time at the state fair in Ohio turned deadly when a ride malfunctioned, killing one person and injuring seven others.

The situation prompted Ohio officials to close all rides until they are deemed safe.

Cell phone video captured from a bystander of the horrific accident led Michigan officials to speak up and assure the safety of their rides.

“We have Skerbeck Entertainment Group and they have on staff 24/7, two licensed inspectors, and they're always adjusting and testing and doing everything they need to do to make the rides safe,” said Sandra Dargatz, the executive director of the Ingham County Fairgrounds.

The annual Ingham County Fair is scheduled to start next week and Dargatz said Skerbeck's licensed inspectors check everything before riders take flight.

“They're looking to make sure that all the safety catches are in place and making sure that all the seat belts and the retaining bars and all of those things are functioning the way that they're supposed to,” she said.

According to a statement from Sonja Skerbeck, "rides are inspected daily during the one hour period prior to opening." 

She also said the "ride operators are also trained to listen and observe the operation of their ride throughout the course of the day."

However, in Michigan, there are roughly 950 rides that need to be thoroughly inspected minimally once a year by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, also called LARA, to make sure it's up to code.

“My guys are out there climbing on top of stuff, going underneath it, taking panels off, looking at as much as they possibly can to make sure that all those parameters are met,” said Mike Beamish, director of LARA.

Beamish said even though all rides are monitored regularly, riders should always use their discretion.

“Things break down from time to time, it's machinery,” he said.

Beamish said Michigan doesn't have a Fireball ride like the one that malfunctioned in Ohio, but has one similar.

Copyright 2017 CBS News / WLNS. All rights reserved. 

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