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New York fair officials take action after Ohio accident

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The State Department of Labor says it will re-inspect some rides to ensure safety.

Following a ride malfunction that killed one person and injured several others at the Ohio State Fair this week, state officials want to assure fairgoers in New York that everything that’s possible is done to ensure that rides are safe.

The New York State Department of Labor is in charge of certifying rides at all carnivals and fairs across the state. Inspectors look at rides at traveling carnivals or fairs every time they are set up in a new location. In a statement, department officials say they will re-inspect all rides, owned by any company, that are like the Fire Ball, the aggressive thrill ride involved in the fatal accident in Ohio. 

New York State Fair Acting Director Troy Waffner notes that all rides that are set up at the Syracuse State Fairgrounds are inspected not just by the state, but by a third party inspector employed by the fair, as well as inspectors from Wade Shows, the company that runs the Midway.

"It’s not just a visual inspection," Waffner said. "They go through them bolt by bolt to to make sure they are being put up correctly, to make sure they meet the manufacturers specifications for being put up, and if any of the inspectors feel uncomfortable, the ride gets shut down.”

The New York State Fair starts in just under a month, and rides start arriving on the fairgrounds next week. Waffner says inspections begin as soon as the rides are taken off the trucks. The Fire Ball isn’t one of the rides slated for this years fair.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.