State inspectors prepare rides for state fair - WDRB 41 Louisville News

State inspectors prepare rides for state fair

State inspectors spent all day making sure the rides at the Midway are safe for thousands of people to get on.

But they're not spending as much time at Kentucky Kingdom, which is also open during the fair, as part of the Thrillway.

With harness in hand, inspectors from the state Department of Agriculture got to work. From making sure the doors on each ride-car work properly, to climbing to the top to check for mechanical problems.

"We're checking every ride out here, and they all will be safe, come Thursday," said Chad Halsey, Department of Agriculture.

And every day during the fair before the Midway opens, state inspectors will re-inspect. So will independent inspectors hired by the company that owns these rides. It's the rides open to fairgoers at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom that state inspectors would like to spot check more than just the current once a year.

Especially after Superman Tower of Power cut off a teenage girl's feet last summer. The ride has since been taken down. And a new law this year requires all ride operators in Kentucky to be at least 18 years old, and assistant ride operators to be at least 16. State inspectors say they'd like to follow all the carnival rides as they travel across the Bluegrass state, but they don't have enough inspectors.

"In a perfect world, I mean, yes, we'd like to check every ride once it gets set up every time. With our manpower, we just cannot do that," said Halsey.

The General Assembly took close to $3 million away from the Agriculture Department this year, so the department says it's unlikely they'll hire more ride inspectors.

The Thrillway opens tomorrow afternoon at 2.

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