Many people have fears of rollercoasters. These fears can stem from a number of factors, such as the fear of heights, the fear of losing control, the fear of malfunctions or accidents, or fears that stem from past traumatic experiences, such as feeling scared or sick on a rollercoaster.
On the other hand, for those that love them, it’s usually because they can experience the adrenaline rush of being in danger without any real danger to face. However, hearing stories about broken rollercoasters or ride engineering mishaps can put things in a different perspective
Just this past week, an attendee of the Carowinds amusement park in North Carolina noted that he saw a substantial crack in the support beam of the park’s rollercoaster. When he alerted the staff, he said that they gave him a nonchalant attitude and that none of the employees had any urgency regarding the potentially disastrous situation.
Jeremy Wagner, the man who spotted the crack, visited Carowinds with his two children this past Friday.
“The guest services person had me AirDrop a video of the crack to them, and then they walked off after telling me they would just ‘send this to somebody.’”
WCNC, a local news station in North Carolina, reported that park supervisors at Carowinds shut down the flagship roller coaster once the personnel became aware of the steel support pillar’s crack.
In an interview with Insider, a spokesperson for Carowinds said that a thorough investigation from the park’s maintenance crew is underway and that until the inspection is completed, the ride will be closed.
Wagner spoke with The Washington Post this past Tuesday, saying that he was happy to hear the ride was closed and that he was very concerned about the possible derailment it could have caused.
“The track could have come completely unhinged, sending the rollercoaster carts barrelling through the parking lot. Hundreds of pounds of steel would have plowed over any cars and pedestrians in the way,” said Wagner.
At the end of this past June, a roller coaster in Stockholm, Sweden, derailed, killing one person and injuring nine others. According to the Associated Press, the Swedish government has launched a full-scale investigation to see why the incident occurred and what can be done about it.
If you go to the website of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, you’ll see a headline touting how safe amusement park rides are in the U.S. compared to other countries. According to their own data, the chances of being severely injured on a U.S. amusement park ride at a fixed-site park is about one in 15 million.
While we’re happy to hear that the team at Carowinds is taking the safety of its parkgoers seriously, we can’t say that this news does any good for people that are trying to overcome their fear of rollercoasters. Spokespeople at Carowinds have yet to respond to further comments.