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10/16/2019

PA Department of Agriculture Issues Findings on September York Fair Accident

Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Division of Amusement Rides and Attractions today released findings from its investigation into the September 13, 2019 incident at the York Fair’s Giant Gondola Wheel that resulted in two adults being sent to the hospital.

The Giant Gondola Wheel is a travelling amusement ride owned and operated by Deggeller Attractions. Per the Amusement Ride Inspection Act, the wheel closed immediately and has not operated in Pennsylvania since the accident. The report released today determines the circumstances under which the department will approve the wheel to reopen. The report does not determine or assign legal responsibility.

Immediately following the incident, Department of Agriculture inspectors interviewed witnesses, ride operators, and Deggeller management; conducted a detailed inspection of the wheel; reviewed photographic and testimonial evidence; and attempted to recreate the circumstances of the event. Over the next several weeks, the department inspected five additional Giant Gondola Wheels registered and operating in Pennsylvania.

Below are the requirements outlined in the report which Deggeller Attractions must meet before the ride will be inspected for reopening:

  • Verify that the gondola, related tie rods, and support structure are undamaged, or have been replaced to meet manufacturer specifications;
  • Verify that the rest of the ride was not affected by the incident and is in good working order;
  • Verify the appropriate pins for the ride are being used along with confirmation of the proper installation; and
  • Provide the department with a written description of: any changes to the owner’s manual concerning the specifications of the proper pins to be used for the ride as described above and any updates to the owner’s manual concerning operators being trained properly in emergency procedures and the audit process to ensure they are adhering to requirements.

In addition to the above requirements for the wheel owned and operated by Deggeller Attractions, the department issued a bulletin notice on October 10, 2019 to all Pennsylvania owners of Giant Gondola Wheels requiring them to confirm with the manufacturer the proper installation of pins.

For the full investigative report and summary of contributing factors related to the Giant Wheel incident at the York Fair visit agriculture.pa.gov. For more information on amusement ride safety in Pennsylvania, including access to owner information, date of last inspection and other related information visit ridesafe.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers - 717.783.2628

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