SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It’s been a year since a malfunctioned ride called Fireball at the Ohio State Fair killed an 18-year-old.
This week, the State Fair at Cal Expo began conducting inspections before opening to the public on Friday.
CBS 13 got an inside look at the inspections.
Senior Ride Inspector Barry Schaible said there will be no changes to inspections on rides following the deadly accident in Ohio.
But workers are paying closer attention to everything, from the seatbelts to the screws, making sure all the rides are as safe as ever come opening day.
Schaible is conducting final checks on all 70 rides at the fair, from the kiddy train to “Chopper Hopper,” they’re being tested and examined down to the bolts.
“All the way to the guest compartment which is the most important part because you put your children in, make sure there’s no nicks, cuts, things can happen in that,” Schaible said.
Schaible has been doing this job for 30 years and maintains the inspection process is as strict as ever. But given the history of accidents at fairs, we asked him how safe are the rides?
Schaible said, “my opinion because I do both — they’re safer than amusement parks. And the reason for that being is: amusement parks have their share of accidents also. You don’t hear about them all the time because most amusement parks don’t fall under a state inspection.”
Still, the deadly accident in Ohio forced Schaible to shut down Fireball last year, for precautionary purposes. And it won’t be returning this year either.
“It’s not worth bringing it over here,” Schaible said.
The latest thrill ride sure to draw a crowd is called Turbo. It lets you spin in a circle, a hundred feet high, knowing the fair’s got it all under control from down on the ground.
And fairgoers will get to see it for themselves when the fair opens at 10am, Friday the 13th.