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Fox News
Fox News
8 Jul 2023


A North Carolina official says the crack seen on a roller coaster at Carowinds amusement park was visible six to 10 days before the ride ultimately closed.

The crack on Carowinds' Fury 325 giga roller coaster was discovered by Jeremy Wagner, a visitor to the amusement park on June 30. He notified park officials of the crack, which was seen while people were on the ride, and it was temporarily closed.

North Carolina Department of Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson said on Friday that the crack was visible for six to 10 days before the ride was closed by park officials.

"It looks like maybe six to 10 days prior, some pictures had been taken that shows the beginning of the crack, and then by obviously last Friday, the thing was completely severed," Dobson said.

CAROWINDS ROLLER COASTER WAS 'NO DOUBT' CLOSE TO MAJOR INCIDENT WHEN VISITOR DISCOVERED MASSIVE CRACK: EXPERT

Carowinds

A crack on Carowinds Fury 325 giga roller coaster was spotted last week and inspectors were at the North Carolina park on Monday. On Thursday, the park said a new support column was being made to replace the defective one.  (Credit: Jeremy Wagner)

Dobson said that "until we're 100% comfortable issuing that new certificate of operation, we will not do so."

"We're going to take as long as it takes," Dobson said.

A spokesperson for Carowinds told Fox News Digital that a fracture developed on one of the steel support columns along a weld line. It has been working with the ride's manufacturer, who's fabricating a new support column which will be delivered next week.

CAROWINDS AMUSEMENT PARK ANNOUNCES NEXT STEPS AFTER POTENTIALLY DEADLY ROLLER COASTER CRACK EXPOSED

Fury ride

According to the amusement park's website, Fury 325 is the "the tallest, fastest, longest giga coaster in North America." (Credit: Jeremy Wagner)

"Following the installation of the new column, and as part of our normal protocol for rides such as Fury 325, we will conduct an extensive series of tests to ensure the safety and integrity of the coaster. These will include an accelerometer test that uses sensors to measure any variation in the ride experience. After that, we plan to operate the ride for 500 full cycles, performing tests and inspections of the entire ride throughout that period. Once this phase is completed, we will ask B&M and the third-party testing firm to perform a final inspection to ensure the ride exceeds all required specifications," the statement reads.

"…by obviously last Friday, the thing was completely severed."

— North Carolina Department of Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson

Records obtained by Fox News Digital show that the most recent North Carolina Department of Labor inspection of the Fury 325 ride was conducted on Feb. 23, and only minor issues relating to signage were found.

'TALLEST, FASTEST' GIGA ROLLER COASTER IN NORTH AMERICA TEMPORARILY CLOSES AFTER VISITOR NOTICES SCARY DEFECT

Fury 325

The Fury 325 roller coaster at Carowinds amusement park is seen on Monday, July 3, 2023, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Erik Verduzco)

The amusement park's website states that Fury 325 is "the tallest, fastest, longest giga coaster in North America."

The roller coaster reaches speeds of up to 95 mph and has a peak height of 325 feet, which is followed by a "dramatic 81-degree drop, the website states.

According to CBS 17, a 911 call was also received regarding the crack. No one was injured. 

Ken Martin, an amusement park ride safety analyst and consultant, previously told Fox News Digital that the Fury 325 giga roller coaster was "no doubt in my mind" very close to a major incident.

Amusement park

People ride a roller coaster at the Carowinds amusement park on Monday, July 3, 2023, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Erik Verduzco) (AP Photo/Erik Verduzco)

"That's the same thing that happened to the fireball incident at the Ohio State Fair a few years back," Martin said. One person died in that incident, and seven others were injured when the Fireball ride at the Ohio State Fair broke apart on July 26, 2017. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Adam Sabes is a writer for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to Adam.Sabes@fox.com and on Twitter @asabes10.