Deadly ride temporarily banned from all South Carolina fairs

Piedmont Interstate Fair (File)

For more than 100 years the Piedmont Interstate Fair has brought food, fun and family time to the Spartanburg area.

Over the years, the rides and acts have changed, but one thing has remained constant.

“We strive for safety. I personally have been here for 15 years,” said Wayne Harmon, “We have never had an accident and we don’t want one.”

Wayne Harmon is the Executive Director of the Piedmont Interstate Fair and said their top priority is guest safety.

”When we set the rides up, the South Carolina State Elevator Division is here onsite inspecting them,” said Harmon, “Then I have to go through to make sure the footing, the steps and the fencing is safe.”

Harmon said there is one ride that will not make an appearance at this year’s fair.

“We had one of the rides that was very similar to the ride that somebody got hurt on up in Ohio,” said Harmon, “Right now, in the state of South Carolina, that ride has been quarantined and it’s not currently running.”

Harmon is referring to a ride called the Fireball. Officials say the ride is responsible for killing an 18-year-old and injuring 7 others at the Ohio State fair in July.

The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, or LLR, confirmed that the ride has been temporarily banned from all fairs in the state of South Carolina.

According to the LLR, all rides go through rigorous tests and multiple inspections before anyone is allowed on them.

“We cannot make guarantees, but what we can say is that the ride has had a thorough inspection by our inspectors, and at the time it was permitted, the ride was in compliance with all of the rules and safety regulations,” said Jim Knight, Deputy Director of South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

The LLR's Office of Elevators and Amusement Rides say following these safety tips will help ensure a fun and problem-free experience on fair rides. Parents: insure ride is appropriate for your child based on age/weight/height. Obey the posted rules, warnings, and instructions for rides. Use safety equipment, such as seat belts, lap bars, etc. Keep hands, arms, and legs inside the ride at all times. Stay seated until the ride comes to a complete stop. If you’re frightened by a ride, get the attention of the ride operator to stop the ride. Upon entry to and departure from the ride, please be attentive to avoid a trip or fall hazard. If the ride operator is inattentive, let a supervisor know. Call or text LLR at 803-896-7638 to report an unsafe condition. Have fun, but be safe!Copyright 2017 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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