Missouri State Fair kicks off with safety in mind after Ohio accident
SEDALIA – The 115th Missouri State Fair opened its gates to the public Thursday morning and after the deadly accident on the fireball ride at the Ohio State Fair earlier this summer, safety is the top priority this year for fair officials.
State Fire Marshal Tim Bean said officials have fully inspected each and every ride at the fair.
"They ensure that the ride is installed properly and set up properly. They check all the wiring and the seat belts are safe and adequate," Bean said.
As a result of the fireball ride accident in Ohio that injured seven people and killed one, Missouri State Fair officials decided not to have the fireball ride at the fair this year.
“We recommended they didn't set it up this year due to the situation in Ohio until it was investigated so it is not here this year,” Bean said.
The fireball ride has been featured at the Missouri State Fair before but luckily never experienced any issues, said state fire official Keith Smith.
“The fireball ride has been here. I remember that ride here eight years ago no major problems with the ride in the past at least at the Missouri State Fairgrounds,” Smith said.
The fireball ride manufacturer announced this week that excessive corrosion caused the ride to malfunction.
Despite the Ohio incident, many long time fair goers said that did not affect their decision to attend the fair.
"We're very confident here and we watched them set up the carnival the past week we've seen everything going up and we've seen inspectors and then we have no worries," said fair goer Debbie Littleton.
“We just want to ensure the general public that we have done thorough inspections and uh everything should be safe and working property so come on out and enjoy the state fair," Bean said.
The Missouri State Fair is open till Sunday, August 20.