Six Flags officials say worn wheel to blame for Texas Giant shutdown

Print
Email
|

by GARY REAVES

WFAA

Posted on July 11, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 11 at 10:35 PM

ARLINGTON - "Traumatic" is the word one father used after he and his 10-year-old son were stuck at the top of a stalled roller coaster Thursday at Six Flags in Arlington.

The Texas Giant re-opened this spring after a total rebuild. Now, the question is what went wrong and why.

The roller coaster climbs 14 stories up before plunging its riders down at 79 degrees, the steepest drop of any wooden roller coaster in the world.

Sunday, a worker reported hearing a noise and shut the coaster down, stranding its two-dozen passengers at the top. It took nearly half an hour for workers to walk the passengers down the stairs to safety.

While the rebuilt ride has only been open since the spring, park officials say maintenance crews found one of its wheels had become worn. It has since been repaired, inspected and returned to service.

"This ride is designed with a complex system of cross checks that monitor every aspect of the ride," read a statement released by the amusement park. "If there is even the smallest indication that something is out of the ordinary, the ride automatically stops ... We have the utmost confidence in our inspection procedures."

There is also state law, which requires $1 million worth of insurance for each ride and an annual inspection.  

A News 8 check showed Six Flags in compliance. Park officials said they inspect the rides every day, but they were not willing to explain how or why a wheel on a brand new ride would fail.

Print
Email
|