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Xcelerator to remain closed "for months" at Knott's Berry Farm

Xcelerator launch image

The Xcelerator rollercoaster at Knott's Berry Farm is likely to remain out of action for several months following an accident last month.

The LA Times reports that an investigation into the accident is likely to extend into next year. The incident on September 18 saw two riders injured when a cable snapped, showering them with debris.

The cause of the accident 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.

State investigators are currently evaluating the cause of the incident and are likely to require significant changes to safety systems before it can be reopened.

Erika Monterroza, spokeswoman for California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health, told the Orange Country Register: “It’s still out of commission, and it’s liable to be out of commission for a few months or more. They need to do failure analysis, so they have to send parts out to a lab."

The Xcelerator incident was 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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