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18-year-old killed on Ohio State Fair ride was a Marine recruit

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Posted at 12:18 PM, Jul 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-27 15:47:42-04

The 18-year-old killed on the Fire Ball ride at the Ohio State Fair Wednesday night was a U.S. Marine recruit, according to the Marine Corps Recruiting Station in Charleston, WV.

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to Poolee Tyler Jarrell's family and all those affected by his loss," a statement from Public Affairs Chief Sgt. Caitlin Brink said. "The Marines are greatly saddened by this tragedy. We are truly proud to have known him as one of the brave few willing to step up and serve his country in the U.S. Marine Corps."

Jarrell was scheduled to attend basic training at Parris Island in South Carolina next summer, Brink said. The young man hoped to become a combat engineer.

He enlisted only five days before he died.

State officials said the "Fire Ball" ride had been inspected earlier in the day before it "malfunctioned" at 7:24 p.m. Videos initially posted on Twitter, showed part of the ride breaking off mid-swing and throwing riders through the air.

RELATED: Authorities to do 'autopsy' on deadly fair ride

In addition to Jarrell, of Columbus, seven other people were injured: Tamika Dunlap, 36, of Reynoldsburg; Russell Franks, 42, of Columbus; Keziah Lewis, 19, of Columbus; Jacob Andrews, 22, of Pataskala; Jennifer Lambert, 18, of Columbus; Abdihakim Hussein, 19, of Columbus; and a 14-year-old male victim whose name will not be released.

Dr. David Evans of OSU Medical Center, which received three patients from the incident, said "multiple passengers were ejected at high speed" from the ride, traveled at least 20-30 feet and then "crashed at a significant distance from the ride."

"The fair is about the best things in life, and then tonight with this accident, it becomes a terrible, terrible tragedy," Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Wednesday night.

Kasich ordered all rides at the fair be shut down pending inspections.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol was investigating the incident. Ride inspectors with the Ohio Department of Agriculture were also working to inspect all the rides again, department Director David Daniels said.

RELATED: Witness: I watched man die on fair ride

All "amusement rides" in Ohio must be inspected and licensed by the state Department of Agriculture by law. The state issues annual permits to ride owners after successful inspections. 

Read more about the inspection process.