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Knott's Berry Farm roller coaster that injured 2 riders could be closed for months

A popular Knott's Berry Farm roller coaster, shut down last month after a cable broke and two riders were hurt, could remain shuttered for months, state officials said.

A cable came loose on the Xcelerator roller coaster and cut a 12-year-old boy in the leg. And a man was treated for back injuries after the malfunction, during which smoke and debris shot into the air and the ride’s cars rolled back into the boarding area.

State inspectors are now combing through the ride to see what went wrong and order fixes.

“It’s still out of commission, and it’s liable to be out of commission for a few months or more,” said Erika Monterroza, a spokeswoman for Cal-OSHA, told the Orange County Register. “They need to do failure analysis, so they have to send [those] parts out to a lab."

The coaster seats about 20 passengers, but was not full during the mishap, park officials said. The Xcelerator accelerates zero to 80 mph in 2.3 seconds. The ride opened in 2003 and is inspected by the park's maintenance staff daily.

-- Shelby Grad

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Comments () | Archives (3)

It's really fortunate that only two people were hurt by the malfunctioning rollercoaster ride, it could have easily been ten times worse as the ride was made to accommodate 20 people. I hope the amusement park management not only check on the cause of the ride's malfunction, but double check the safety and security of their other rides as well. I hope they also had the initiative to at least take care of the medical expenses of their passengers who got hurt.

So scary! I always tell myself my slight fear of roller coasters is irrational. Then I read these stories. Eek!

As someone who knows and follows the amusement park industry, this accident disgusts me. Knott's Berry Farm has one of the most overbearing and arrogant managements of any park, demanding such irrational and trivial protocols in the name of "guest safety" that infringe on customer satisfaction (such as not allowing sunglasses to be worn on rides, while every other Cedar Fair property, and competitor allows it, or not allowing children under a certain age, even those that meet the height requirement set forth by the state of California, to ride without an adult, again while every other Cedar Fair property and competitor doesn't), yet the park refuses to even maintain their rides. If the park's obviously incompetent and lazy maintenance staff had checked the ride's cable correctly as Intamin recommends it would have never occurred. Also at fault is tight-wad Cedar Fair, who forgets to mention that they have had similar cable incidents with other rides because they refuse to replace them as Intamin specifies. Millennium Force snapped it's lift cable this year, and Top Thrill Dragster has frayed its cable twice. Whether it be Knott's, or Cedar Fair itself, someone should come away with a heavy enough fine that both realize they are to do as Intamin specifies to ensure safety. These two riders should also sue, this is simply unacceptable on the park's part.


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