(Reuters) - The Dutch manufacturer of the ride that killed an 18-year-old man who just enlisted in the Marines and injured seven other people at the Ohio State Fair instructed operators on Thursday to suspend use of similar rides.
The notice from KMG International BV came as several states said they had temporarily shut or were further inspecting rides similar to the “Fireball,” which police in Columbus, Ohio, said flung the victims into the air on Wednesday after their seats snapped off.
“We are currently gathering information on the accident and investigating the cause and circumstances,” KMG product manager Albert Kroon said in a statement.
Following the death of Tyler Jarrell, 18, in Ohio, at least nine other states, a New Jersey county fair and a Canadian city said they were suspending or reinspecting similar rides.
Inspectors are notifying operators in Illinois to stop three “Fireball” rides, eight “Freak Out” rides, and one “Extreme” ride, state labor department officials said.
Officials said the Fireball ride will not operate at the Indiana State Fair when it opens next week, while Kentucky State Fair officials said they scrapped plans to include the Fireball ride at this year’s event in August.
A spokeswoman for the California State Fair said that operators there suspended use of the Fireball within 20 minutes of the Ohio accident and were reinspecting it.
“It’s one of the more popular rides. My son was just on it yesterday,” said spokeswoman Darla Givens.
North Carolina issued a moratorium on the ride’s use until an investigation is completed. Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Missouri, New York and the Monmouth County Fair in New Jersey also suspended operations of the Fireball and similar rides.
At an annual fair in the Canadian city of Edmonton, officials shut down the Fireball ride on Wednesday night until further notice, said Caiti Farquharson, a spokeswoman for the organization that holds the event.
Those taken to area hospitals after the Ohio accident ranged in age from 14 to 42, authorities said. Two patients remain in critical condition and another is in serious condition after multiple surgeries at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, according to a hospital statement.
Jarrell had enlisted in the Marines Friday and had been due to begin basic training in South Carolina next June, said Captain Oliver David, a Marine spokesman.
Since 2010, there have been 22 U.S. fatalities, including Jarrell, linked to amusement attractions such as rides, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is investigating the Ohio incident. That excludes work-related incidents and fatalities at water parks or slides.
There were about 30,900 injuries associated with amusement attractions seen in emergency rooms in 2016, commission spokeswoman Elizabeth Klinefelter said.
Amusements of America, which provided rides to the Ohio State Fair, called the Fireball “an aggressive thrill ride” and said it was one of its most popular since it began using it in 2002.
Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales and Chris Kenning in Chicago; Additional reporting by Julia Jacobs in Chicago and Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Lisa Shumaker