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Amusement park safety is more dangerous than many realize. Many amusement park rides are unsafe and have disastrous track records. The two most common claims involve negligence and product liability. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Nothing quite matches the exhilarating thrills of amusement rides for young and old alike. There are more than 400 amusement parks and attractions in the U.S., and attendance at the top 10 U.S. theme parks was just under 113 million in 2016.

For the average amusement park junkie it is well worth standing in line for an hour or longer for a ride on the newest, tallest, most dangerous and exciting ride in the park. However, what happens when the ride keeps you hanging in mid-air requiring ladders to retrieve you, or worse still, when the ride malfunctions and causes injury or even death, such as when the Fire Ball ride malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair last July. A statement released on August 2, 2017 by the manufacturer of the Fire Ball, KMG International BV, reveals that excessive corrosion on the interior of the gondola support beam dangerously reduced the beam’s wall thickness over the years, leading to the catastrophic failure of the 18-year-old ride during operation.

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