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Riders injured in Xcelerator accident at Knott's Berry Farm

Xcelerator launch image

Two riders were injured on the Xcelerator rollercoaster at Knott's Berry Farm when a cable snapped and showered them with debris.

The ride closed immediately following the incident on September 18, and will remain closed until an investigation is complete. The cause is believed to have been a serious malfunction in the ride's hydraulic launch system, which catapults the coaster towards a top speed of 82mph.

The cable - which is part of the launch system - reportedly snapped, creating a cloud of debris and striking a 12-year-old boy in the leg. The boy was taken to hospital for treatment along with a male adult rider who suffered back and neck injuries. Both riders' injuries are said to be mild-to-moderate in nature.

Incredibly, footage of the accident taken from the ride's on-board video system was later leaked onto the Internet (TPT has chosen not to reproduce the video to preserve the privacy of the injured riders). It shows the train failing to make the top of the launch hill, then rolling backwards over the remains of the cable (which strikes the boy) before coming to a stop in the ride's station.

The Xcelerator incident is a blow to Intamin AG, the ride's designers. Another hydraulically-launched coaster designed by AG, Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point, suffered a similar incident in 2004. On that occasion, a snapped launch cable led to metal shards and hot oil being sprayed onto riders.

Theme Park Tourist will keep readers updated on the status of Xcelerator through the site's Rehab Watch section.

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