Mass.Claims Carnival Operator Lacked Safety Records

November 1, 2004

A carnival ride accident that threw a Massachusets man to his death last month was caused by a chain reaction that started when the safety bar holding the man and his companion in place failed, causing their weight to shift and snapping two bolts, the state said in a report.

The Department of Public Safety report also found that the owner and operator of the Sizzler ride, Jaro Amusements Inc., did not keep maintenance records that could have pointed to problems with the faulty bolts.

“This tragic accident was completely preventable and never should have happened,” said Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Gatzunis. “We are working with the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office to make sure those responsible are held accountable.”

Andrew R. Fohlin, 38, was killed in the Sept. 19 accident at St. Mary’s Church and parochial school in Shrewsbury, 40 miles west of Boston. Two others were injured.

Jaro will be called to appear at a public safety hearing before year’s end and could have its license to operate in Massachusetts suspended or revoked, the department said.

Jaro spokesman Alan Ramsay said the report was wrong in its finding that Jaro had not maintained the car.

He said the report’s blame of Jaro was not surprising, given past comments from public safety officials, but otherwise declined to comment.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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