Ride Inspectors Say One Fair Ride Unlikely To Reopen

Thursday, October 4th 2007, 11:16 am
By: News On 6

Several children at the Tulsa State Fair end up on a ride to a Tulsa hospital, after the second accident at the fairgrounds involving the same roller coaster. Three children were taken to the hospital Saturday night, but the ride passed inspection and reopened the next day. Wednesday night, several of the cars on the same ride ran into each other, and a 10-year-old girl was hurt.

News On 6 reporter Emory Bryan reports the second accident prompted the state Department of Labor to take a second look at the "Zyclon" roller coaster.

While the Labor Department was busy inspecting the "Zyclon," parents and grandparents like Trisha Beach of Tulsa were trying to get their children on other rides.

“Yeah, I worry about the safety of all of these rides, but you've got to take them to the fair, right?” said Trisha Beach.

The "Zyclon" is a roller coaster that can have as many as four cars on the track at a time. The only cars running Thursday were for testing by the state and Murphy Brothers, which runs the midway for the Tulsa State Fair.

“We're checking the braking system, the operation of the individual cars and the times between breaks,” said ride inspector Don Hankins.

Whatever happened on the "Zyclon," the state Department of Labor said it's not because this is a ride that travels around the country. In fact, they say these rides are inspected much more often and just as thoroughly as rides that stay in one spot.

“Some of them are so old, you can tell they're old, I think this is the same ride that was here when I was little. So they're old, if they were a little bit newer, I would feel more comfortable,” said Tulsa resident Sarah Majors.

State inspectors said they haven't finished their investigation, but have heard that a rider’s hat might have gotten stuck under the wheels of one car, causing it to stop, leading to a collision. Several signs warn riders to remove hats.

"What we're being told is that often a patron will put their hat back on once the train leaves the station and I don't really know if that's a factor or not," said state ride inspector Don Hankins.

The reports from the two accidents won't be done for a couple of weeks, but inspectors say the ride is unlikely to reopen before the end of the Tulsa State Fair. While officials won't speculate on whether something on the roller coaster track caused the accident, they did note the ride seemed to be operating fine on Thursday.

Watch the video: Ride Safety Is Under Review At The Tulsa State Fair

Related story:

10/4/2007 - State Fair Ride Closed After Accident