After Visitor Exposes Potentially Deadly Coaster Support Pillar Crack, State Officials Were 'On-Site' at NC’s Carowinds Amusement Park.

 July 4, 2023

On Friday, Jeremy Wagner, a park visitor, posted to Facebook video footage, of his discovery of a crack in one of the support pillars in the Fury 325 giga roller coaster, at the Carowinds amusement park. He immediately notified officials. Apparently, the discovery was made while people were still riding the coaster. The ride was subsequently shut

The ride in question is the Fury 325, giga roller coaster. According to the amusement park’s website, the ride is described-

“… the tallest, fastest, longest giga coaster in North America - Fury 325! Riders begin their adventure on one of three 32-passenger, open-air trains to the peak height of 325 feet - following a dramatic 81-degree drop. Then, like an angry hornet chasing its target, riders race into a massive 190-foot tall barrel turn and a high-speed S-curve reaching speeds of up to 95 mph.

Just above the front entrance of Carowinds, riders experience an astonishing 91-degree overbanked horseshoe turn, and then take the "HIVE DIVE" underneath a pedestrian bridge, swarming at full force into the back half of the ride, through a high-speed banked curve, camelback hill and an intense double maneuver.

Fury 325 is North America's longest steel coaster, and is over 1.25 miles long. The average ride time is 3.25 minutes, and the ride crosses both North and South Carolina state lines. Fury 325 does not let up during its full throttle swarm! “

-Carowinds amusement Park Website

North Carolina labor officials were notified and called in to inspect the circumstance. The agency said in a Monday statement -

"The North Carolina Department of Labor is aware of the incident at Carowinds,"… "At this time, we have inspectors on site who are working to gather more information. We will be able to make a full assessment and provide further information as it becomes available. Safety always has been and always will be our top priority at the North Carolina Department of Labor."

-North Carolina Department of Labor

According to a park spokesperson, in their statement regarding the matter, it was said-

"Carowinds closed Fury 325 after park personnel became aware of a crack at the top of a steel support pillar," …"The park’s maintenance team is conducting a thorough inspection and the ride will remain closed until repairs have been completed," …"Safety is our top priority and we appreciate the patience and understanding of our valued guests during this process.”

-Carowinds Amusement Park Spokesperson

With the danger that the description of the ride above seemingly boasts already, a structural crack could be deadly at some point. It does sound as though the park and State Labor Department took the observation seriously. Safety in such cases cannot be overemphasized. Wagner’s keen eye may have saved lives. This is a good reminder to speak up when something appears wrong – lives may depend on it.

“Being observant is a must-have skill to master.”

-Robin S. Baker
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