PA Dept. of Agriculture releases steps involved in investigation into Ferris wheel accident at York Fair

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture issued a statement Friday in regards to the steps involved in its investigation into an accident at the York Fair on September 13.

Officials said at a news conference on September 13, the night of the incident, that two people were injured: one person fell from the cart of the Ferris wheel while the other was injured in the cart.

You can read the full statement below:

In an effort to be transparent, but also maintain the integrity of the investigation currently underway related to the Great Wheel at the York Fair, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture today released the steps involved in completing an investigation after an amusement ride accident.

Investigations could include some or all of the following:

  • Interviews with victim(s), operator(s), and witnesses
  • Methodical review of the ride in comparison to manufacturer’s specifications, when available. Often repeated multiple times to provide as many angles as possible.
  • Attempt to recreate the circumstances surrounding an incident, under controlled conditions.
  • Review all related documents for the ride (maintenance records, manufacturer manuals, etc.)
  • Contact the ride manufacturer to discuss design and operation of the ride
  • Contact members of the Pennsylvania Amusement Ride Safety Advisory Board to leverage their knowledge and expertise in the industry
  • Contact other industry experts, as needed. This could include other regulatory jurisdictions.
  • Review photographs and video of the incident, if available.
  • Review and verify all steps taken, draft findings, verify again
  • Issue findings

Throughout this process, representatives from the department are in constant communication with the ride owner and owners of the same or similar model rides. The goal of this process is to ensure the safety of Pennsylvanians and our visitors who ride this ride or similar rides in the future. Investigations like this will often result in recommendations made to the industry to improve safety for all. Upon close of an investigation, the department will issue its findings and recommendations to ensure safety moving forward.

It is the responsibility of the department to complete a thorough, accurate investigation. Pennsylvanians deserve it.

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