Fayette County Fair Opens Amid Concerns After Fatal Ohio Accident

DUNBAR (KDKA) — After the fatal accident at the Ohio State Fair, many are concerned about the safety of rides at fairs all over the country, including the Fayette County Fair.

In Pennsylvania, it’s the Department of Agriculture that’s responsible for inspecting amusement rides. They say there are no rides operating in the state similar to the one that malfunctioned in Ohio.

Therefore, there’s nothing like it at this year’s Fayette County Fair, which kicked off Thursday night.

“No, not here at the Fayette County Fair. No, we don’t,” said Marc Janas, of Powers Great American Midways.

There is a ride called the Fire Ball at the fair; however, while it has the same name as the malfunctioning ride in Ohio, it’s completely different.

Just the same, some fairgoers admit they’re thinking about what happened in Ohio.

“Horrible, just horrible,” said Goldie Clark, of Connellsville. “In fact, that’s what we were just talking about.”

But the Fayette County Fair president says fairgoers can also take reassurance in the rigorous steps they take to try to prevent accidents like what happened in Ohio.

“Obviously, it’s a tragedy what happened there and our thoughts and prayers are with those folks, but we have what we feel is the best traveling carnival on the East Coast,” said Bill Jackson, the president of the Fayette County Fair.

Powers Great American Midways operates 30 rides at the fair. Janas says if the rides weren’t safe they wouldn’t let their kids and grandchildren ride them.

“I always say our two main things we always strive for is safety first, fun second,” he said.

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Powers Great American Midways has five in-house inspectors. The state had an inspector out Thursday as the rides were being set up, and supervisors do daily inspections.

Janas says he believes traveling rides that have to be dismantled and rebuilt offer a safety advantage.

“It was a permanent structure, you might not notice it as much, but when you’re putting something together, taking it apart, putting it together, you’re going to notice something that you wouldn’t see normally,” he said.

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