Inspectors went to a North Carolina amusement park on Monday to continue an investigation of a roller coaster shortly after a father noticed a crack at the top of one of its steel support pillars.
“I’m not an engineer, but it’s not right,” Jeremy Wagner told CNN during his visit to Charlotte’s Carowinds Park on Friday.
fury 325 Park officials have said it will remain closed pending inspections and repairs. It is one of the tallest and longest rides in a massive park that spans the North and South Carolina state line.
“The North Carolina Department of Labor … has inspectors on site working to gather more information,” the agency said Monday afternoon. “We will be able to conduct a full assessment and provide further information when it becomes available. Safety has always been and will remain our top priority.”
Personnel from the department’s Elevator and Amusement Equipment Bureau were expected to visit the site. The agency did not share anything further about the nature of its inquiry.
He told CNN that he knew something was wrong when Wagner noticed a hole in the coaster’s infrastructure while at the park with family. He took out his phone and hit record, zooming in on the crack to see the support column move slightly out of place as the passengers flew in.
“My daughter and niece rode it six times,” he told CNN.
Wagner reported the incident to the park’s guest services but after they left she still felt uneasy, saying, “So, I called Charlotte Fire.”
“They called me back within 10 minutes and advised that the ride be discontinued,” he said.
Fixed-site amusement parks have been overseen by state or local governments since Congress wrested that authority from the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission in the 1980s. about 40,000 were injured last year’s estimate The commission reported that on amusement attractions including rides, waterslides and inflatables.
According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), the 2021 Fixed-Site Amusement Ride Injury Survey recorded 0.9 injuries per million rides.
“The excellent safety record is in the best interests of the industry and its leaders are committed to providing safe attractions for all of its guests and visitors,” the IAAPA said in a statement.
The park says Fury 325 is “North America’s tallest, fastest, longest giga coaster”, reaching a height of 325 feet and a top speed of 95 mph. According to Kings Island Amusement Park in Ohio, a “giga” roller coaster has a height of between 300 and 399 feet.
The rest of the Carowinds amusement and water park is open Monday, its website says.
All rides, including Fury 325, “undergo daily inspections to ensure their proper functioning and structural integrity,” Carowinds said.
“Safety is our top priority,” it added, “and we appreciate our valued guests’ patience and understanding during this process.”