Ride safety a priority at Wis. State Fair

Posted at 4:23 PM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 17:42:04-04

Inspectors are still trying to determine how a Ferris wheel seat flipped over in Tennessee sending 3 kids plummeting to the ground. Authorities say a mechanical failure may have caused the accident.

At the Wisconsin State Fair, inspectors work through the heat every day to make sure riders safely get though each twist, turn, dip and dive.

The inspection process actually started days before the fair even opened. Organizers say three state inspectors watched as each ride was assembled. Then four private inspectors went through all 50 rides,  checking for loose bolts and mechanical wear and tear.

"We double check safety belts, shoulder restraints, interlocks on the computer. We verify that to make sure they are all working," says Joe Bixler, with International Leisure Consulting.

Those private inspectors also randomly check various rides every day. But another layer of protection comes from the fair workers. Each operator must inspect their own rides every morning.

The Wisconsin State Fair has had a few problems throughout the years. In 2012, The Stratosphere became stuck, when the ride experienced some type of electrical problem.

"It happened a couple of times. No one was hurt. We were able to get all the people down," says Kristi Chuckel  with the Wisconsin State Fair.

The snafu with Thee Stratosphere is one reason its not at this year's fair. Organizers say the goal each year is to try and provide a safe fun fair experience.