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Safety a top priority for CNE following attack in Barcelona

File photo of the CNE Midway. Photo credit: TheEx.com

Following a brutal terrorist attack in Barcelona, officials with the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) are assuring the public that all efforts are being made to make sure everyone has a safe and fun time this year at The Ex.

The CNE draws more than a million people to Exhibition Place every year to experience the sights, sounds and tastes of the midway.

But in light of recent world events, organizers said they have “taken steps to secure our perimeter and grounds and to monitor, control and restrict vehicle access to our site.”

“The CNE has a robust security plan that is based on risk assessment and partnership,” Virginia Ludy, CNE’s chief executive officer, said in a statement on Friday.

“We work in closely with our government partners, intelligence agencies and locally, with the Toronto Police Service, as well as with contracted security consultants, to protect our patrons and staff throughout all 18 days of the CNE.”

Ludy also expressed her condolences to the victims of Thursday’s van attack in Barcelona, which killed 13 people and injured more than 100 others.

“The CNE is aware of recent global events, including the tragic events in Barcelona,” she said. “We join with all of Toronto in sending our thoughts to the victims, their families, friends and communities.”

“Safety comes first at the CNE, and the organization dedicates significant resources to security protocols to make sure the fair is safe and enjoyable for our guests, employees and the surrounding community.”

Last month, the CNE took another step to assure the safety of its guests.

North American Midway Entertainment, the company that provides attractions to the CNE, said in a statement that the Fire Ball ride has been closed as a precaution until further notice.

A deadly accident involving the same attraction happened at the Ohio State Fair in July. An 18-year-old man was killed and seven others were injured – two of them critically – at the fair in Columbus. Video captured by a bystander shows the machine crashing into something and breaking apart, throwing riders to the ground.

The CNE said all of its rides are inspected daily by the midway company and third-party safety engineers during the fair’s two-week run.

The Ex will be open from Aug. 18 to Sept. 4.

Earlier this week, the media got a chance to taste some of the delicious treats at the CNE this year. 680 NEWS reporters Momin Qureshi and Geoff Rohoman got the chance to try just a few of the unusual delicacies.