COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Amusements of America is back as ride operator at the Ohio State Fair for the 26th year. It’s the same ride company that owned and operated the Fireball when it broke apart at the 2017 Ohio State Fair, killing 18 year old Tyler Jarrell and seriously injuring seven others.
Amusements of America Safety Director Bill Costagliola is in charge of making sure all of Amusement of America’s 71 rides at the fair are set up properly and are safe.
It’s a process involving more than a hundred people and it takes longer than a week. He told NBC4 rides are safe and he wouldn’t hesitate to let his own children get on them.
“All the inspectors are already out here looking at stuff as we’re setting up so we’ll run a very safe fair this year,” he said.
He said the past year after the Fireball accident hasn’t been an easy one.
“It was a tough year. This company has been in business over 60 years and that’s the first time something like this ever happened.”
The Fireball accident was blamed on unidentified internal corrosion. Costagliola said in the off-season rides underwent special testing to detect any potential problems.
“Corrosion is an issue so we did more testing than was required on all our rides with closed tubes and stuff like that had increased inspections done,” he said.
Costagliola hopes this year people come back to the fair with their faith restored.
“I have no problem putting my kids on these rides. These rides are very safe,” he said.
On Monday, NBC4 will be back at the fair as state inspectors do their safety checks ahead of opening day on Wednesday.