2nd break found on North Carolina roller coaster, weeks after ride was closed when crack spotted

ByCarrington Peavy and Dawn Sawyer, CNNWire
Monday, July 31, 2023
Roller coaster at Carowinds closes after crack found in support pillar
Carowinds amusement park in North Carolina closed a roller coaster Friday after discovering a crack in a support pillar, park officials said.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Another break or crack has been found on a North Carolina amusement park ride, weeks after the roller coaster was shut down when a visitor spotted a crack in a steel support pillar, state officials say.

The discovery of the additional "weld indication" was made during an investigation into the structural integrity of the closed Fury 325 roller coaster at Carowinds amusement park in Charlotte, according to a statement from the North Carolina Department of Labor.

The agency said the indication "could be either a break or a crack," the statement said.

The Fury 325 will stay closed until inspections and repairs happen, park officials have said. It's one of the tallest and longest rides in a massive park that straddles the North and South Carolina state line. The park says the Fury 325 takes riders to a peak height of 325 feet and reaches 95 mph.

Carowinds said it's not "uncommon to discover slight weld indications in various locations of a steel superstructure" when conducting a maintenance review, in a statement given to CNN. The park added that such indications "do not compromise the structural integrity or safety of the ride."

The amusement park closed the roller coaster on June 30 after visitor Jeremy Wagner took a video of the crack and said he immediately showed it to guest services before following up with the Charlotte Fire Department. The fire department called him back and said the ride had been shut down, CNN previously reported.

"I'm not an engineer, but that's not right," Wagner thought on his visit to the Carowinds park, he previously told CNN.

At the park with family, Wagner knew something was wrong when he spotted the crack, he told CNN. He pulled out his phone and hit record, zooming in to show the support pillar moving slightly out of place as passengers flew by.

"My daughter and niece rode it six times," he told CNN.

Carowinds said it "continues to conduct a comprehensive series of detailed tests and inspections" to prepare for the ride's reopening.

The North Carolina Department of Labor said there is no timeline for issuing the certificate of operation and that the investigation continues.

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