RALEIGH, NC — An ongoing investigation by the North Carolina Department of Labor has found that a large crack in the support pole of a towering roller coaster appeared at least a week before the amusement park closed for repair.
Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson said Friday in an interview with The Associated: “It appears that six to 10 days before that, some pictures were taken showing the beginnings of the crack, and after It was clear that last Friday, everything was completely cut off.” Press.
Charlotte-based Carowinds theme park came under investigation this week after a video surfaced online of a roller coaster in action with a large crack in one of its columns. Footage of the Fury 325, known as a “giant coaster” due to its impressive height of 325 feet (99 metres), shows a main support rod bent with the top clearly visible when the cars are loaded. filled with unexpected passengers darting away at speeds of up to 95 mph (150 km/h).
Carowinds, which lies between the North Carolina and South Carolina service, announced plans to repair the trip and said it would perform additional inspections. A spokesperson for the park did not immediately respond on Friday to an email seeking comment on the commissioner’s observations.
The park’s maintenance team and game producer, Bolliger is based in Switzerland & Mabilard, this week determined that a crack had formed along the weld in one of the steel support columns. It plans to remove and replace the pole and expects a new pole – designed by the same manufacturer – to be delivered to the park next week.
Park staff shut down Fury 325 last weekend after a visitor pointed out the sizable crack. Investigators from the North Carolina Department of Labor were on site Monday and Wednesday when other park attractions remained open. The ministry has yet to release the results of its investigation.
Dobson, a Republican, said he was “very pleased” with Carowinds’ efforts to repair cracks and improve its routine inspection process.
The Labor Department’s Recreational Equipment Bureau conducted an annual inspection of Fury 325 in February and found only a handful of signage issues, which Dobson said the park quickly fixed.
After Carowinds installs the new support column, they plan to conduct accelerometer tests, which use sensors to measure the structure’s vibrations. The parks said they would then operate the ride for 500 full cycles while running various tests on the entire roller coaster. After that, the manufacturer and third-party inspection company will perform the final inspection.
“While we regularly inspect gliders, we are planning to implement additional inspection procedures to ensure that we are doing our best to quickly identify and resolve issues. potential future,” the park said in a statement. It said the new procedures would include the regular use of drones equipped with cameras to check hard-to-reach places.
A re-opening date for the trip has yet to be set.
“We’re going to take as long as we can,” Dobson said. “And until we are 100% comfortable issuing that new certificate of activity, we will not.”
Hannah Schoenbaum is a member of the Associated Press/Report for the America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to cover confidential issues.