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Recently Surfaced Photo Raises Questions About Inspection Of Ohio State Fair Ride

A fairgoer's photo that emerged this weekend is raising new questions about why passengers were allowed on a ride that ended up killing one and injuring several at the Ohio State Fair.

The photo by Bryan Bury, which he turned over to State Highway Patrol investigators, shows what appears to be a crack along the arm of the Fire Ball – the very spot where the ride would eventually break apart, killing 19-year-old Tyler Jarrell and hospitalizing several others.

KMG, the Dutch manufacturer of the Fire Ball, says excessive corrosion of the support beam caused the ride's "catastrophic failure."

Rex Elliot, the attorney representing one of the accident's victims, says the photo was mentioned in the the State Highway Patrol's report but the photo itself was not included. When Elliot asked for the photo, he says investigators told him issues with copyright prevented them from doing so.

Elliot isn't buying it.

“It's obviously a very damaging photograph and I think that that had something to do with delaying the production,” Elliott says. “Frankly they produced hundreds of photographs and I just don't see copyright being an issue there.”

In a statement, the Ohio Highway Patrol said the photo was not immediately released because "the owner of the photograph had copyright protection to it. After we obtained a release from the owner it was released."

The Franklin County Prosecutor's office announced in August that there was not sufficient evidence to proceed with criminal charges. Jarrell's family said they are conducting an independent investigation into the incident.

"At the time of inspection, there was no visible evidence to keep the ride from passing inspection," said the Department of Agriculture, which is in charge of inspecting rides, in a statement. "If there had been, further review would have been completed."