Fireball accident leading to industry-wide changes


COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Changes are coming to the ride industry because of the Fireball accident. Friday, the industry’s top safety experts pushed through new standards for a vote. Everyone we spoke with said they take what happened personally.

“Oh, it’s absolutely personal. It’s absolutely personal,” said Saferparks founder and ASTM member Kathy Fackler.

Fackler never wants another mom to go through what she did.

“When my younger son was five years old, it was a long time ago, he was in a bad accident,” she said.

He lost part of his foot on a rollercoaster. After, she founded, a non-profit to help stop future accidents.

Fackler is one of the hundreds of ASTM International members with the same goal; to prevent anyone else from being hurt on a ride

“It’s the top priority. It’s kind of the only priority,” said Universal Studios Executive and ASTM member Steven Blum.

Blum said ASTM mobilized immediately after the Fireball rise broke apart in the air.

“Any accident that happens anywhere in the industry kind of sends a shock wave through the whole industry,” said Blum.

New standards are now up for a vote and others still under consideration that put more scrutiny on inspectors and more focus on detecting corrosion; what was blamed for the accident.

“The situation in Ohio has become a central focus and there is an intense effort with literally thousands of man-hours being spent on looking at the situation, but also looking at how can we change things and we’re trying to make changes immediately,” said Premier Rides owner and ASTM member Jim Seay.

Members vote by ballot and if there is a consensus the standards will be enacted.

We continue to ask the Ohio Department of Agriculture what’s being done to prevent another tragedy. It’s up to the state to decide whether or not to follow new standards.

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