Engine Blows Up, Killing 4 at Ohio Fair

From Associated Press

A tractor engine exploded at a county fair Sunday, killing four people and injuring dozens when it blasted shrapnel and hot oil across the fairgrounds.

The steam-powered tractor was being moved into place for an outdoor exhibit of antique farm equipment when it exploded about 6:30 p.m., Medina County Sheriff Neil Hassinger said. Two men killed were close to the engine, and the third was found 30 feet away. A fourth man died later at a hospital.

The victims were identified as Alan Kimble, 46; Cliff Kovacic, 48; William Kovacic, 27; and Dennis Jungbluth, 58, all longtime exhibitors at the fair, Hassinger said.

Shrapnel was found about 100 yards away, said Fire Chief Bill Herthneck. Brian Witt, 15, was watching a bird-judging competition when he heard the blast.


“It sounded like a big boom. I heard all kinds of people crying, people screaming,” said Witt, who had burns on his arms and face.

Betsy Mikalacki, spokeswoman for Medina General Hospital, said 18 people had been admitted for injuries in the explosion, which took place at the Medina County Fair, about 25 miles southwest of Cleveland. Other victims were being taken by helicopter to other hospitals.

Medina County Fair president Dave Bertram said the fair would go on as scheduled Monday.