Galveston brings fun to families who come every year to vacation among the area’s history and varied attractions.
One of its newest installations, the Pleasure Pier, is fun and a gorgeous addition to the seawall landscape, stretching out over the Gulf like an iconic scene from a postcard on good weather days.
As summer brings happy travelers to the pier this year, however, they will find one attraction noticeably still:
Following a recent tragedy that horrified the nation, the Pleasure Pier is joining amusement parks across the country by shutting down its popular pendulum ride, shown above.
On July 26, Tyler Jarrell, 18, was killed and seven others injured when their ride malfunctioned.
Known as “The Fireball,” the pendulum ride is designed to swing in a circle.
As it swung during the fateful last ride in Ohio, one of the seated row hit a support beam, causing the structure to break apart.
Riders fell high and flew from their seats in a scene of horror.
Despite some terror appeal from the threat of carnival rides malfunctioning, the Midwestern incident left people wondering if the rides are truly safe.
According to a statement from ride operator Amusements of America, “The Fireball” passed all inspections, which authorities say were conducted three or four times before the fair began:
“The ride was inspected by our staff, as well as independent inspectors, prior to opening at the Ohio State Fair. We are keeping those impacted by this tragic situation in our prayers and cooperating with those investigating this accident,” the statement explained.
While Galveston’s Pleasure Pier operates a similar ride, Houston’s Hamptons’ Coney Island remains incident free.
The “Revolution” rotates 60-feet into the air and gives riders the feeling they are flying over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
During a phone call, Chief Operating Officer Keith Beitler said the Pleasure Pier is temporarily closing “Revolution” after Ohio, like a trend in a number of other amusement parks operating a similar ride.
Beitler said the ride will remain closed until inspections can be done to ensure the ride is safe and the pier is given clearance to reopen the attraction.
While visitors might miss the thrills of the “Revolution,” management says safety is always most important at the Pleasure Pier.
Until it reopens, patrons can enjoy the ride from the safety of the internet.