Xcelerator launch image

The Xcelerator rollercoaster is set to reopen at Knott's Berry Farm on January 31, more than four months after an incident which injured two riders.

The planned reopening date is listed on the park's website, and suggests that the park has been able to modify the ride to the satisfaction of state investigators. 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 injured boy was taken to hospital for treatment along with a male adult rider who suffered back and neck injuries. Both riders' injuries were said to be mild-to-moderate in nature.

Knott's Berry Farm and coaster designer Intamin AG have been cooperating with California's Divison of Occupational Safety and Health to investigate the incident and update the ride accordingly to avoid a repeat. The most recent update was an LA Times report back in September, which suggested that the Xcelerator was likely to be closed for several months.

The Xcelerator incident was a blow to Intamin AG, one of the world's leading coaster 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.

In addition to releaving the Xcelerator opening date, Knott's Berry Farm has also revealed details of a number of scheduled ride refurbishments on its website. Details of these can be found in Theme Park Tourist's "Rehab Watch" section.


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