• Ride at Jacksonville fair fails inspection because of missing $2.50 part

    By: Jenna Bourne, Action News Jax


    A ride at the Jacksonville Fair failed inspection and is closed to riders because of a $2.50 piece of steel.

    State inspectors found the Tornado ride has bearing bolt damage.

    “The tornado is missing one of 36 fasteners. It is perfectly safe to operate in the condition that it’s in. However, we feel that it is not worth pushing anyone’s luck, if you will,” said Belle City Amusements General Manager Zack Panacek.

    Panacek said he ordered a new bolt and hopes to have the ride back open on Saturday.

    “No one’s life is worth any shortcut,” Panacek said.

    He said it’s the first time since the company took over the Jacksonville Fair in 2009 that it’s been unable to open a ride by the time the gates opened.

    By Action News Jax’s count, state inspectors discovered problems on 37 out of 61 rides earlier this week.

    Those deficiencies included a cable clamp that was installed backwards, a missing safety sign, sharp edges and cracked fiberglass.

    Only the Tornado failed inspection.

    It’s not the first time rides at the Jacksonville Fair have had issues.

    In 2014, an 11-year-old boy was stuck with a sewing needle on the Ali-Baba ride.

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