Harborfest has some worried about safety after Ohio incident

OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Oswego’s Harborfest kicked off on Thursday, just a day after one teen was killed and seven other people were injured when a seat on a ride broke off at the Ohio State Fair.

Some families headed out to Harborfest have had mixed reactions when it comes to allowing their kids on the rides— some say the Ohio tragedy was an isolated incident and feel fine, while others are not even letting their kids go on rides.

John Strates, owner of the Strates Shows which operates Harborfest, said what happened in Ohio has had a ripple effect everywhere. 

"It's a very bad day for an amusement park operator. They went out with the complete intent of having a bunch of families have a nice day and they end up shutting the fair down because of an accident,” he said.

After yesterday's accident at the Ohio State Fair, Strates got an order from manufacturer KMG that all Fireball rides would need to shut down.

Strates says what happened in Ohio is extremely rare.

“You're most common accident out here is someone with open toes with a flip flop that slips and falls. That’s the biggest problem. 80 percent are patron error. The rest are either ride operator error or manufacturers defects,” Strates said. 

More intense rides mean more intense inspections. Strates uses NASA employees to conduct metal x-rays on ones like the Fireball every 18 months.

Strates says people shouldn’t be worried about coming out to Harborfest.

“We had a good inspection here. And things look safe. We look forward to a good Harborfest.”

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