Large Crack in Roller Coaster Beam Prompts Its Shutdown


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A roller coaster at an amusement park in Charlotte, N.C., was shut down on Friday after a visitor spotted a large crack in one of the ride’s pillars.

The Carowinds amusement park said that it closed the coaster, called Fury 325, “after park personnel became aware of a crack at the top of a steel support pillar.”

The ride will remain closed as crews make repairs, Courtney McGarry Weber, a park spokeswoman, said.

Jeremy Wagner, who was visiting the park with his daughter, son, niece and his son’s friend on Friday, recorded video of the crack.

Footage he recorded shows the pillar separating briefly at the crack, as a coaster car zips by on the track.

“I was trying to shoot the video, and my hands were shaking because I knew how quick this could be catastrophic,” Mr. Wagner said.

Mr. Wagner, who had just bought his children season passes for the park, said he recorded the damage from the parking lot. His 14-year-old daughter had been on the ride eight times on Friday, he said.

At 325 feet tall, Fury 325 is one of Carowinds’ main attractions.

It can carry dozens of riders and send them barreling at speeds of up to 95 miles per hour during its more than 3-minute ride, according to the park’s website.

Carowinds bills the ride, which opened to the public in March 2015, as the “longest giga coaster in North America.” Roller coasters with drops of 300 feet to 399 feet are known as giga coasters.

Mr. Wagner said that he turned over his footage to park officials before he left on Friday but that he did not learn of the ride’s closure until after he got home.

“I’m thankful they did that,” he said. “Even though that’s their No. 1 attraction at the park.”

The rest of the Carowinds, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, remained open on Saturday and Sunday, according to the park’s website.


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