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Carowinds reports 5 incidents as glitches plague rides

Roller coaster riders enjoy their experience on Carowinds' new Fury 325, the world tallest and fastest giga coaster, during media day on Wednesday.
Roller coaster riders enjoy their experience on Carowinds' new Fury 325, the world tallest and fastest giga coaster, during media day on Wednesday. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

The Herald’s news partner, WSOC-TV, learned what caused people to get stuck on Carowinds’ newest roller coaster, Fury 325, this weekend. Carowinds has had several issues with rides so far this year, including one that injured a 2-year-old girl.

Glitches have stranded riders this season at the amusement park, and those have frequent visitors, like Will Adams, concerned.

“We stand in line for two hours, and every time you turn around, a ride is getting stuck,” Adams said.

A faulty switch in the tunnel where Fury 325 goes under a park entrance caused Saturday's shutdown, North Carolina Department of Labor inspector Tommy Petty said.

“In case water would build up, they don't want the coaster coming through with water in it. So one of the float switches malfunctioned,” Petty said.

Carowinds has voluntarily reported five incidents already this year.

The Flying Ace shut down April 4, because a faulty sensor to trim the brakes.

A 2-year-old girl worked her way out of a safety restraint April 6 on The Red Baron and fell out of a plane after the operator hit the emergency stop. She injured her elbow.

A guest was bruised April 9 on The Flying Dutchman when the ride attendant accidentally closed the lap/hip bar on the patron's hand.

An internal fault stopped The Windseeker on April 11.

The next day, The Windseeker was stopped again when the ride operator inadvertently hit the emergency stop.

Adams thinks a new payment plan for season passes has boosted attendance, leading to longer lines and a bigger uproar when rides go down.

But state investigators say the safety systems are in place for a reason, and riders should feel safe even after a ride has a malfunction.

Carowinds officials said they were traveling Monday and would talk to Channel 9 in soon.

Carowinds sent a statement about the recent issues:

“The safety of our guests and associates at Carowinds Amusement Park is paramount. Our rides have a sophisticated, computerized system that can cause ride stoppages as a precautionary measure.

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