After Six Flags accident, how safe are rides? - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

After Six Flags accident, how safe are rides?


A deadly accident on Friday at Six Flags in Texas has lots of people thinking about the safety of rides at amusement parks and carnivals.

In Iowa, the Department of Labor reported just one accident last year.

For 25 years Dick Meyer has served as the Benton County Fair Board president. He says what makes a Fair is a carnival.

"Not that I have to ride, but we got a lot of kids that love it," said Meyer.

Three years ago, Meyer was forced to look for a new carnival after the last one they had went out of business. He and his wife traveled to another county fair to check out Sam's Amusement.

"Whether they knew it or not, when my wife and I were up at this other fair, you look around and see how things were put together," he said.

Meyer ended up booking the carnival, making the Benton County Fair one of 36 fairs or festivals Sam's Amusement puts on in a year.

For five years, Gary Montgomery has owned the operation. He says safety is his main concern, so much so that he became a certified inspector.

As soon as they get to their location, Montgomery and his crew start thoroughly inspecting the rides.

"People setting the rides up are usually always on the same rides," he said. "We don't just move people around, so they know that ride inside and out. They set the ride up. Usually, the next day, myself or another inspector on the show will go through and look at every ride."

Montgomery says they look at every nut, bolt and pin to make sure everything's in place. Then it's time to go through the ride multiple times.

The State of Iowa inspects every ride that comes into the state. So far this year, the Department of Labor says there has been one accident, on May 17 in Council Bluffs.

In that incident, three children were injured.

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