The manufacturer of an Ohio amusement park ride that broke apart, leading to the death of an 18-year-old last month, was caused by “excessive corrosion,” an official reportedly said.
Tyler Jarrell was killed and several more people were injured at the Ohio State Fair when the Fire Ball ride spun out of control, sending people flying through the air. Now, an official with the ride’s Dutch manufacturer says the ride was nearly 20-years-old, resulting in the “catastrophic failure,” CNN reports.
Albert Kroon, with KMG International, said in a statement that investigators have determined that “excessive corrosion on the interior of the gondola support beam dangerously reduced the beam’s wall thickness over the years,” according to CNN.
Kroon added that the company is working with safety experts to “develop an inspection protocol” to prevent future accidents.
The incident occurred at around 7:20 p.m. on July 26. Video footage of the malfunction showed the showed a large part of the structure flying into the air as bystanders screamed.
“We heard commotion on the ride. There was people on the ride like, ‘slow it down, it’s too fast,’ ” one witness, Julian Bellinger, told Good Morning America of the Fire Ball ride at the Columbus fair. “When I [saw] the people fall out, I just turned my head and I couldn’t watch it.”
Jarrell, of Columbus, died at the scene. In the wake of the incident, many who knew the teen told PEOPLE that he was heading into his senior year of school and had recently enlisted in the U.S. Marines.
“He was a very selfless person, he would always put others first,” Dillon Evans told PEOPLE of his friend.
“He loved to serve his community, so he wanted to serve his country. He was always doing things for people. He was ready to serve his country in all ways possible.”