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July 27, 2017

Morey's Piers, Hersheypark closes rides after fatal Ohio State Fair accident

Rides have similarities to malfunctioned ride; closures a precaution, officials say

Accidents Amusement Parks
Morey's Piers "It" ride Morey's Piers/YouTube

Morey's Piers will temporarily shut down the ride known as "IT," shown here, after a similar ride from the same manufacturer broke apart at the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday, killing one.

Morey's Piers in Wildwood closed two rides this week after a deadly accident at the Ohio State Fair.

Hersheypark also reportedly closed a ride with similarities to "Fire Ball," the pendulum ride that swings its arms 40 feet into the air while spinning its riders. A section of that ride broke apart Wednesday at the Ohio State Fair, throwing two people into the air.

Tyler Jarrell, 18, was killed, and several others were injured.

The rides closed at Morey's Piers, "IT" and "Maelstrom," had potential similarities to the ride that broke apart at the fair, according to a statement from the boardwalk amusement park. "IT" was made by the manufacturer of the Ohio ride, KMG International, while "Maelstrom" was manufactured by KMG and another company, Tivoli.

The park closed the rides Wednesday evening, and state officials on Thursday told the park to keep the rides closed until further notice.

Morey's has been working with the state and KMG "to determine the next steps," the statement read.

"IT" opened in 2011 and swings up to 24 passengers. Riders reach heights of up to 65 feet over the pier as "our newest thrill machine will swing and spin you through the air," a ride description reads on the park's site.

"Maelstrom" is a similar thriller on Mariner's Pier that "will you spin you as you've never been spun before – and take you upside down while doing it!" according to the park's site.

Hersheypark closed "The Claw" as a precaution, according to ABC27 news. The ride has some similarities to the Ohio ride, but it is a fixed "Park" model and produced by a different manufacturer, according to the report. 

On Wednesday, a video taken by a bystander captured a crashing sound, according to the Associated Press. A section holding four riders had come apart, and screams could be heard as at least two people were ejected from their seats and fell to the ground. Other riders appeared to remain in their seats as they crashed down.

WARNING: The video below contains graphic content of the accident.

The ride's manufacturer, KMG, shut down more than 40 of the rides around the globe on Thursday. 

An earlier version of this story cited a Facebook post from an unofficial Morey's Piers page.