Fatal accident with Dutch attraction in U.S. caused by "excessive corrosion"

KMG Afterburner “Vortex” at Thorpe Park
KMG Afterburner “Vortex” at Thorpe Park. (Photo: Stefan Scheer / Wikimedia Commons)

A fatal accident with a carnival attraction in Ohio, United States last month, was caused by "excessive corrosion", or rust, manufacturer KMG said in a statement on Sunday. when a gondola on the ride - called Fireball in Ohio, but produced under the name Afterburner at KMG - broke loose while the ride was running.

According to KMG, the Fireball in Ohio was 18 years old. The company visited the scene of the accident with a team of experts and, reviewed video footage of the incident and conducted a metallurgical inspection on the ride. 

"It was determined that excessive corrosion on the interior of the gondola support beam dangerously reduced the beam's wall thickness over the years. This finally led to the catastrophic failure of the ride during operation", KMG said. 

The Dutch company teamed up with industry safety experts to develop an inspection protocol to ensure that all rides in operation are safe.

Shortly after the accident  KMG project leader Albert Kroon said that KMG does maintenance on their rides, but that it is primarily the responsibility of the operator. "On the Afterburner in Ohio we did the maintenance until a few years ago", Kroon said at the time. He couldn't say who took over the maintenance and how it was done.