Ride manufacturer KMG on Sunday released its findings in the malfunction that occurred in Columbus, Ohio on July 26, issuing a new inspection protocol for other Fireball rides in use elsewhere.
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‘It was determined that excessive corrosion on the interior of the gondola support beam dangerously reduced the beam’s wall thickness over the years. This finally led to the catastrophic failure of the ride during operation,’ KMG Product Manager Albert Kroon said in a statement.
KMG also said that it had developed a new safety inspection protocol that would allow other Fireball rides, which are also sold under the name Afterburner, to reopen.
The catastrophic malfunction to the ride in Ohio, killed 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell, who had enlisted in the Marines five days before his death.
He was thrown into the air when part of the amusement ride snapped and came down with such force that he was killed upon impact.
The tragedy occurred just five days after Tyler posted a photo to his Facebook page which showed him in a Marines Uniform and holding a plaque that read ‘United States Navy’ and ‘Department of the Marine Corps.’
Six of the seven victims were also identified by the State Highway Patrol, with the youngest of the group having his name withheld as he is just 14 and a minor.
Tamika Dunlap, 36, of Reynoldsburg; Russell Franks, 42, of Columbus; Keziah Lewis, 19, of Columbus; Jacob Andrews, 22, of Pataskala; Jennifer Lambert, 18, of Columbus; and Abdihakim Hussein, 19, of Columbus.
Documents released on last month show that the Ohio Department of Agriculture gave The Fireball passing marks during an inspection that happened just a few hours before the fatal crash.
The Department also released the paperwork they received from Amusements of America showing that both the operator and attendant who were working that day had been trained and were aware of safety/emergency procedures.
The University of Cincinnati journalism student, who just finished her second year at the school, wrote on Facebook about her grandparents finally being together again in death.
‘It was hard and extremely sad to see you go but it’s a blessing to know that you and Nana are reunited and living it up in Heaven,’ wrote Keziah.
Keziah’s grandfather also served, having been a member of the Air Force.
The comments on that post soon filled with wishes of good will after people found out that she was one of the victims.
Keziah and Tyler have been together for approximately one year and worked together at McDonald’s for two years, which is how they met.