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Single Beam Shuts Down Giga Coaster at North Carolina Amusement Park

Amusement park goers got a little more thrill than they bargained for when visiting Carowinds. Located on the border between North Carolina and South Carolina (primarily occupying Charlotte, NC), Carowinds is an amusement park that offers thrilling rides, family friendly fun, carnival games, and even a water park. First opening fifty years ago, in 1973, the park is no stranger to little incidents from over the years. 


Just last year, in late April 2022, one of their rides (Flying Cobras) suffered a malfunction that left riders suspended at the lift for a short period. Although no one was hurt, it is scary to think about what could have happened if the error had been worse.


Flash forward a little over a year, and you will have your answer. Guests were left in awe as the Fury 325, “the tallest, fastest, longest giga coaster in North America,” appeared to have a large split on one of the support beams. The titular giga coaster debuted in 2015 and, since its eight-year run, has never had something so threatening happen. Guests alerted staff to the poor state immediately. 


After a visitor spotted the crack, the ride was closed for repairs. As the ride’s train sped around the curve, there was a clear shift at the beam and the tracks dipped under the weight. Traveling at speeds up to 95 miles per hour, both park goers and Carowinds was fortunate the split was discovered before nightmares became reality. Promising a “thorough inspection” by the maintenance team, Carowinds has said they are committed to the safety of guests.  


Although serious injuries involving roller coasters are rare, they are not impossible. A few days prior to the Fury 325 incident, horrors materialized as a train from the Jetline roller coaster of Grona Lund in Sweden derailed. Several people suffered injuries and one person died. Sarah Kuta includes,


“On June 25, 2023, tragedy struck at Grona Lund, Sweden's oldest amusement park. One of the trains on the Jetline roller coaster derailed, partially coming off the tracks while carrying 14 people. Some passengers were thrown off the ride, with witnesses claiming one man had to hang onto the rail before being rescued. One person died, and several others were injured and taken to the hospital.”


With proper maintenance and adequate testing, roller coasters should carry little risk, but it is important to be vigilant before stepping into the long line… You just may see a giant crack on a support beam.

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Tags: #risk #carowinds #parkgoers #beam #scare #rollercoaster


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