Company behind rides at Salt Lake County Fair discusses safety standards in wake of tragedy in Ohio

Posted at 9:52 PM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 23:52:55-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- Wednesday marks one week since a ride at the Ohio State Fair malfunctioned and broke apart mid-air, killing one and sending several others to the hospital.

This tragedy is heavy on the minds of Utahns as they celebrate the opening night of the Salt Lake County Fair.

The rides at the fair are set up by a local company called City of Fun. If you come this year you'll notice that one of their rides, the "Spin Out”, isn't there and that's because the seats on that were made by the same manufacturer who made the "Fireball" ride in Ohio.

City of Fun says there wasn’t anything wrong with the "Spin Out" ride, but they would rather be safe than sorry.

The thrill of the rides, flashing lights and the smell of funnel cake fills the air at the Salt Lake County Fair.

While the rides are a dream for the kids, they can be a nightmare for their parents.

It’s a fear that's rising after the "Fireball" ride at the Ohio State Fair malfunctioned and broke apart mid-air, killing one person and injuring seven others.

“Safety is the number issue after what happened in Ohio with that major accident; it's on everyone's mind of what goes through,” said Frank Morales, Manager for City of Fun, Inc.  of Pleasant Grove Utah.

Morales and his crew spends their days at the fair going ride to ride to make sure they're safe.

“Everything is always checked, and it's double-checked and triple-checked,” Morales said.

In the company's 54 years of business they say they've never had any major injuries. But Morales said the tragedy in Ohio makes them even more diligent.

“It kind of wakes up the industry to double-check everything, and, you know, check everything the best you can and even more sometimes,” Morales said.

He points out that a major injury on a ride is rare. The International Association for Amusement Parks says the likelihood of getting a serious injury at an amusement park is one in 16 million.