Summer is the perfect time to get a tan and have some fun outdoors, except you are an avid lover of winter games. Actually, no rule says an individual can’t like snowboarding and beach parties. Interestingly, there is a multi-billion dollar industry fulfilling the cravings of summertime fun seekers. There are theme parks and many other amusement parks all over the United States.
Chances are you’ve been to one of these parks and have experienced fun and fear of a rollercoaster moving at a high speed. But as fun as these rides may be, they are not always 100% safe.
Sadly, safety has been a recurrent issue at some of these outdoor locations. There have been reports of close shaves with death, accidents, and a number of annual fatalities.
In all fairness, mishaps that result in fatalities are often rare at most amusement parks. Rides and facilities at amusement parks are subjected to routine checks, and employees are often instructed never to turn a blind eye when something seems amiss. Regardless, the management teams of these summer fun spots haven’t been able to bring safety-related incidents to zero.
Speaking of safety, the Carowinds amusement park in North Carolina has had its flagship ride shut down twice in the space of two months. Their Fury 325 roller coaster ride, acclaimed to be the fastest, tallest, and longest ride in all of North America, was shut down due to safety issues.
Fury 325 is a roller coaster ride built on a large steel frame, which was delivered by Bollinger & Mabillard Consulting Engineers Inc. in 2015. Cars on Fury 325 were designed to operate at a maximum speed of 95 mph, and the entire setup is estimated to have cost some $30 million.
On the 30th of June, maintenance staff discovered a crack at a joint of Fury 325’s steel frame. So, the ride had to be shut down, and maintenance staff from Bollinger & Mabillard were dispatched to the facility. According to this team, they replaced the supportive frame of the entire ride before the ride was reopened on the 13th of July. Interestingly, the maintenance team hung around even after the reopening to ensure things are running fine.
However, a second crack was discovered on the frame, this time by a father who brought his kids to Carowinds Park. Apparently, the man was filming the Fury 325 cars go by at top speed on its rail when he looked up and noticed some sunlight filtering through a crack on one of the major beams propping up the rail.
The video recorded by the man has since gone viral, and the North Carolina Department of Labor has waded into the discovered breach on Fury 325, which could be a threat to the safety of fun seekers.
In response, the super ride has been indefinitely shut down by management to carry out tests on the structural integrity of the superstructure. As part of the structural integrity test, the inspection team will operate the Fury 325 on 500 cycles of ride and at full throttle speed. Hopefully, no more cracks will be discovered on the giant rollercoaster.