'Everything at State Fair is safe': State officials inspect Spin City rides ahead of State Fair

NOW: ’Everything at State Fair is safe’: State officials inspect Spin City rides ahead of State Fair

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Before the sounds of excited screams, laughter and carnival music take over the Spin City Midway at the Wisconsin State Fair, inspectors with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services were on-site Tuesday making sure the rides are up to code.

"It's about layers of safety and assessing risk," explained Dan Hereth, secretary with the DSPS. "When you walk up to a ride, you're looking for things like sharp edges; you're looking for things like approaches. When you get up close to the ride, you're looking at first, structural. You're looking at the beams to make sure that the beams look stable, that there are no cracks in them."

Ride safety has been a topic of discussion across the nation this year. In North Carolina, two cracks were found in the metal of a large roller coaster at an amusement park. In New York, riders on a carnival ride were stuck rapidly going backwards for four minutes due to an electronics malfunction. In Illinois, a child was injured after being thrown several feet in the air on a carnival ride, and in Crandon, Wisconsin, back in July, riders were stuck upside down for roughly three hours after a ride stopped in its tracks.

"We have a ride that's substantially similar to the ride that had issues up in Crandon," Hereth said, referring to the Infinity coaster that's located in Spin City. "The manufacturer, I believe yesterday, was on-site to verify things are being set up correctly and securely so that riders are safe throughout the fair."

Executive Director and CEO of Wisconsin State Fair Park Shari Black also referenced the ride.

"We're extremely confident that this ride is going to be fine," Black said. "It is not the same ride that was at the Crandon County Fair, but it is a very similar ride, of course. It's a newer ride than was at that fair."

According to Black, Spin City will have 43 rides available for fairgoers this year. 24 of the rides are geared for teens and adults while 19 are for kids. She says along with the inspections from the DSPS and daily checks by operators, a third-party company inspection company has been hired to make sure rides are running safely and smoothly.

"International Leisure Consulting. They have vast knowledge of these rides. They see them at numerous events so they really know exactly what to look for," Black said. "Safety is always our number one concern here at Wisconsin State Fair Park. We just feel like we have that assurance by hiring that third party, independent inspector to go through the rides and make sure they're all completely safe."

DSPS will also have a staff member on call should any issues arise.

"Absolutely everything at State Fair is safe," Hereth proclaimed. "We're very confident in the safety of these rides. If I wasn't confident in the safety of these rides, I wouldn't be bringing my children on Friday to have fun at State Fair."

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