Dutch maker calls on operators to stop Afterburner attraction after fatal accident in U.S.

KMG Afterburner “Vortex” at Thorpe Park
KMG Afterburner “Vortex” at Thorpe ParkPhoto: Stefan Scheer / Wikimedia Commons

Dutch company KMG called on all operators of its Afterburner fairground attraction to turn off the ride after a fatal accident with one at the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday. The company asked operators to keep the attraction shut down as a precaution while they investigate exactly what happened in the United States, AD reports.

The Afterburner ride consists of a pendulum arm with rotating baskets, in which people sit. A total of 24 people can go on the ride at a time. The ride tilts people into the air and then rotates at 15 rounds per minute. In Ohio on Wednesday an 18-year-old man was killed and seven other people were injured when one of the baskets came loose and crashed to the ground. The ride is called Fireball at the Ohio State Fair.

In the Netherlands two fair companies own a KMG Afterburner, according to the newspaper. One is the Tilburg Fair, which is currently ongoing. There the ride is called Chaos. According to the Dutch fairs association NKB, the Chaos is safe. "But the operator is listening to the manufacturer's call. The Chaos will remain closed until it is clear what happened in Ohio", Jan Boots of the NKB said to AD.

The other Afterburner in the Netherlands is operated by Projek 1. According to a spokesperson, their machine is in tip-top shape. "In America they must've handled it unprofessionally, there's no other way", the spokesperson said. Their Afterburner was in for a checkup at KMG only yesterday. This Afterburner will be on a fair next week, though the spokesperson would not tell AD which one.