Ohio Fatality Sparks Belmont Park Ride’s Shutdown

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The Beach Blaster ride at Belmont Park in San Diego and five similar attractions statewide were voluntarily shut down by operators Thursday in the wake of a fatal accident at the Ohio State Fair, the California Department of Industrial Relations announced Thursday.

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Beach Blaster ride at San Diego’s Belmont Park. Image via YouTube.com
On its website, Belmont Park touts the Beach Blaster as one of its most popular rides for “adrenaline junkies.” The machine swings passengers 60 feet in the air and to 120 degrees in both directions — all while spinning.

An 18-year-old man was killed Wednesday and seven others were hurt, three critically, when the Fire Ball ride broke apart in mid-air in Columbus, Ohio. The dead teen had recently enlisted in the Marine Corps and was scheduled to enter basic training next year, according to news reports.

The Beach Blaster and other shuttered rides are similar to the Fire Ball.

Cal/OSHA’s Amusement Ride and Tramway Unit said the rides will not operate until they’re inspected by agency officials, or until further word is received from manufacturers KMG of The Netherlands and Chance Rides of Wichita, Kansas.

Other affected rides are at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, the Orange County Fair, Cal Expo State Fair in Sacramento, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the Great America amusement park in Santa Clara.

— City News Service

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