Tuesday, September 10, 2013
A Connecticut carnival accident that injured 15 children Sunday has raised a few questions over carnival ride safety at the Kansas State Fair.
Fair officials say certified inspectors -- employed by the carnival, North American Midway Entertainment -- check the rides daily. Regular inspections are also part of Kansas law.
Regular carnival attendees said they trust the process for the most part.
"Pretty much everything you see here on the midway, we've been on," Rex Belote said.
Though he does not join his daughter on certain rides, he does not worry too much about safety. However, he likes to give each ride a quick look before he gets on.
"I do watch them before I do get on just to check them out myself," Belote said. "So far I haven't seen any problems. I haven't felt uncomfortable when I'm on the ride."
He is not the only one watching the rides. The Kansas Department of Labor requires carnival rides to be inspected every 30 days. A safety checklist must also be completed daily, a department spokeswoman said. Additionally, Department of Labor officials often make unannounced visits to carnivals.
At the state fair, the rides get a lot of attention from on-site inspectors, said Denny Stoecklein, Kansas State Fair general manager.
"They're here so if there's any question about a ride, they can look into it immediately, correct anything that might be wrong and, if not, they can clear that ride and get ti ready for operation again," Stoecklein said.
Megan Jarobe and her little brother, Jesse Mort, said safety is certainly in their minds while they enjoy the midway. However, they said it works best for them to throw caution to the wind, relax and have fun. That's what they did when they rode Speed.
"I was nervous at first, but it was okay," Jarobe said. "I felt safe in it."
"I was chicken," Mort said. "I did not want to go until I went on it."