North America’s ‘Tallest, Fastest, Longest Giga Coaster’ Closes After Visitor’s Shocking Observation

A massive North Carolina roller coaster was closed Friday after a visitor spotted a crack in a support beam.

But the story does not end there. As word spread that Fury 325 at the Carowinds amusement park was closing, a second visitor discovered images that appear to show the same crack six days before the roller coaster was closed.

Fury 325 is touted by Carowinds as the “tallest, fastest, longest giga coaster in North America,” according to Just The News. A giga coaster is a “complete circuit roller coaster between 300 feet and 399 feet in height or with a drop within those boundaries,” according to coasterpedia.net.

Jeremy Wagner of Conover, North Carolina, was at the park with his children when he noticed something he should not have seen while they were riding the Fury 325.

“And I look up, and I see a light come through the pole,” he said, according to WBTV.

He pulled out his phone and videoed the next car by.

“When the car came by, I saw it move,” he said, adding, “It takes one time, just one time.”

He showed the video to park security and asked that the ride be closed. He said he left without being certain what the park would do, but later found out it was being closed

“I HOPE THEY SHUT THIS RIDE DOWN AFTER I REPORTED THIS VIDEO AT GUEST SERVICES!!! IT MOVES 2-4 FEET!!! IT WAS STILL RUNNING WHEN WE LEFT! GOT CONFIRMATION THEY SHUT IT DOWN FOR INVESTIGATION FROM CFD,” he posted to Facebook along with pictures and a video.

“My heart was like relieved because I was just afraid, being the 50th anniversary, and the 4th of July weekend, are they gonna do the right thing? I just didn’t want to see something bad happen,” he told WBTV.

The park said it is responding to the incident.

“The park’s maintenance team is conducting a thorough inspection, and the ride will remain closed until repairs have been completed,” spokeswoman Courtney Weber said, according to the  Charlotte Observer.

“Safety is our top priority, and we appreciate the patience and understanding of our valued guests during this process,” Weber said.

As part of “comprehensive safety protocols,” all park rides are inspected daily “to ensure their proper functioning and structural integrity,” Weber said.

However, a North Carolina woman suggested that might not be so — based on pictures she took days before the ride was closed.

Tiffany Collins Newton of Shelby, North Carolina, posted photos she said she took during a June 24 trip to the park.

“I haven’t been to the park since last Saturday, but I’ve always took photos from the parking lot of the skyline. I decided to look back and see if the crack was visible last week… well, it was. Of course I’ll ride it when it’s repaired. Things happen… I just hope this leads to MORE inspections and extensive safety checks in the future. Thank God nothing bad came of it and no one was injured before this was caught. Get well soon, Fury,” she wrote.

She later offered a philosophical approach to the incident.

“So everywhere I look now, everyone is talking about how dangerous roller coasters are, yet we fly, drive, ride trains, take boats- all with the same or more risk… bridges have collapsed, stadium seating has failed- it’s fine for those of you who don’t enjoy coasters, but don’t just write them off as ‘death traps,’” she wrote.

“Fury did exactly what it was designed to do. It didn’t have a catastrophic failure. It held up. No one was hurt. No one was injured. It’ll be rebuilt and we’ll move on from this.”

“Do I wish it had been caught sooner? YES. Would I like to see more thorough inspections, somehow, to prevent this in the future? YES(which is why I brought attention to my photo),” she wrote.

But she said she won’t stop riding.

“Will I still ride Fury and every other coaster I can whenever I get the chance? ALSO YES!!!

“We know it’ll be back up and running as soon as possible, but in the meantime, I choose to remember the good times, the many days I felt so down and out after going through so much in a short time, but this coaster was my therapy. I think it’s that for many of us in the coaster community. And here’s to all the wonderful times to come!”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

This post was originally published on this site