Fire Ball ride in Uniondale shut down after Ohio incident

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UNIONDALE -

New York is calling for rides similar to the one involved in a deadly malfunction in Ohio to be shut down until they can be reinspected, including the Fire Ball ride at the Empire State Fair in Uniondale.

The fair at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum has carnival games, shows and 42 rides -- the Fire Ball among them. It bears similarities to the Ohio State Fair ride that killed a teenager and injured others when an entire row of seats snapped off Wednesday night.

The Fire Ball in Uniondale is not in operation as Al Dorso, president of State Fair Group, says he decided to shut it down as soon as he heard about the Ohio incident.

"We currently closed it just out of caution," Dorso says. "We want to find out what happened out in Ohio before it will reopen here."

The New York state Department of Labor announced Thursday that all rides similar to the Fire Ball in Ohio will be reinspected "out of an abundance of caution." Officials also asked all companies operating the same ride to shut them down until more is known about the cause of the accident.

Vartha Marcelin, of Elmont, says she would never ride the Fire Ball anyway after what happened in Ohio.

"I came here to have a good time with my family and my friends, and I hope that we are safe," she said, adding that the incident has her wondering how often rides are inspected.

Dorso says the Uniondale Fire Ball never had issues in the 17 years it's been at his fairs. He says it likely won't be back at the Empire State Fair next year.

The Empire State Fair runs through Sunday.

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