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Ban of amusement ride that killed one, injured others, lifted in Tennessee

Authorities stand near the Fire Ball amusement ride after the ride malfunctioned injuring several at the Ohio State Fair, Wednesday, July 26, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Some of the victims were thrown from the ride when it malfunctioned Wednesday night, said Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin. (Jim Woods/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

A ban on an amusement ride which killed one and injured others has been lifted in the state of Tennessee.

The 'Fireball' ride and similar rides were banned in Kentucky and Tennessee last year in the wake of an Ohio State Fair tragedy. One person was killed and several others hospitalized when riders were ejected from the ride.

The company with supplied the ride in Ohio had also been slated to supply rides for the Tennessee State Fair, Wilson, and Giles County fairs. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) banned the ride and similar rides following the tragedy.


On Thursday, TDLWD Commissioner Burns Phillips lifted the ban after the Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) challenged the ban. While the association agreed rides in poor condition should not operate in Tennessee it disagreed with the language of the ban.

“IAAPA disagrees, however, with the recent proposal to ban whole categories of rides based on what appears to be their resemblance to the Ohio State Fair ride,” the letter stated.

After turning to the Attorney General's office for guidance on the ban, TDLWD found Commissioner Phillips did not have the authority to ban the rides. Therefore, the Fireball ride and similar rides are no longer banned.

“These rides will once again operate in the state, but they will do so under every scrutiny allowable by Tennessee law,” Phillips said. “Safety will always be my number one priority.”

All amusement devices will still be subject to third-party inspection before operating in the state.

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