At least 1 dead, several injured in ride malfunction at Ohio State Fair

COLUMBUS, Ohio – At least one person was killed when a ride malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday, Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin said, according to the Columbus Dispatch and CNN affiliate WCMH.

Rhonda Burgess and her three children were at the fair, and one of her sons was in line at the ride next to the one that malfunctioned.

“The ride had five riders per cart. This piece snapped off and the riders came out of the cart,” she said. “At least two (people) flew through the air at least 20 feet before landing on their backs on the concrete.”

It was the first day of the fair.

Three patients were transported to Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Eileen Scahill said.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich tweeted his condolences.

“I am terribly saddened by this accident, by the loss of life and that people were injured enjoying Ohio’s fair. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those grieving and injured,” Kasich said. “I have ordered a full investigation into this incident and have ordered that all fair rides be shut down until additional safety inspections can be completed.”

State officials began inspecting some of the rides on Monday, CNN affiliate WSYX reported. More than 70 rides were to be inspected.

The Dispatch reported the inspections were delayed by recent rain.