Lafayette carnival shut down; ride passed inspection two weeks ago

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A carnival is being shut down after a ride breaks and injures four children. Less than two weeks ago the ride passed its yearly inspection.

The carnival in the Market Square parking lot, which opened on Tuesday, was supposed to run until Sunday but closed on Wednesday. Jessop Amusement owner Jay Jessop, who declined an on-camera interview, owns the rides at the event and said the property owner asked him to shut it down.

The request comes after children were injured Tuesday night when the Motorcycle Jump ride broke, sending the bikes and children to the ground.

“We discovered two very minor injuries involving children,” Lafayette Assistant Fire Chief Ron Ritchey said. “They were not transported (to the hospital). We treated them on the scene and we left.”

Indiana Fire Marshal Office Director of Public Information John Erickson said state inspectors were on the scene Wednesday to look at the Motorcycle Jump ride.

He said all rides have to go through at least one inspection a year. The Motorcycle Jump passed its inspection on May 14.

It was the assembly of the ride for this carnival that caused the accident.

“When the ride was reassembled, we’re talking about human error here,” Erickson said. “It was not put together securely.”

Before the incident, state inspectors scheduled an inspection of the carnival for Wednesday. However, that inspection was a standard arts and entertainment permit inspection.

It would not have included a ride inspection.

“It’s proper use of electrical,” Erickson said. “It’s making sure proper use of fire suppression, fire extinguishers are charged and are in the proper places. It’s proper use of hoods that would go over a grill surface. It’s just making sure those type of situations are safe.”

Jessop told WISH-TV’s sister station WLFI that the person who assembled the ride has been reprimanded, but not fired. He said in 25 years of business, he has never had an accident like this.

Erickson said at this time no citations will be given because of the incident.