The “KMG Fire Ball” ride operated at a fair in Charlotte approximately two months before the deadly incident in Ohio, according to a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Labor.
Dolores Quesenberry said the ride was present at the “Carolina Fair,” an event held at the Park Expo and Conference Center in Charlotte.
“It was inspected and certified and operated during the course of that festival,” Quesenberry said Thursday.
She said the ride had no issues while it was operated in Charlotte.
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Quesenberry explained the process by which rides must get certification before an event. She said prior to an event, a ride owner must submit an advanced notice of operation. After the notice is sent out, the ride must be inspected. If the ride fails inspection, it cannot be operated.
The state Labor Department has temporarily banned the “KMG Fire Ball” from operating in North Carolina. The ride will not be allowed to operate in the state until it is deemed safe.
Valerie Morris, communications director for Universal Fairs, the company that organizes the “Carolina Fair,” sent WBTV the following statement: “Universal Fairs, that manages and operates the Carolina Fair are very saddened by the recent tragedy at the Ohio State Fair and our thoughts and prayers are with all those that are affected. The safety and the security of our guests are of the utmost importance as we strive to offer the best family friendly entertainment for all. The (KMG Fire Ball) ride provided by Amusements of America at the Carolina fair passed multiple inspections and there were no incidents with the ride during the 10 days open at the fair. Universal Fairs has not made any plans for the carnival midway provider for 2018.”