Xcelerator launch image

Knott's Berry Farm's Xcelerator rollercoaster is reportedly unlikely to reopen by January 31, as listed on the park's website.

Screamscape claims that the park has not yet been given clearance by state investigators to reopen Xcelerator, following an investigation into an incident in September which injured two riders. According to the site, the state has not yet released its accident report, which would detail the modifications required to the ride before it would be permitted to reopen.

Knott's listed the January 31 timescale for reopening on its website earlier this week. If the report is true, then it is likely that Knott's Berry Farm is simply setting expectations that Xcelerator will be closed throughout January by listing the last day of the month as an opening date. The park is likely to extend that date later in the month, as timescales for the state investigation become clearer.

The incident on September 16 saw two riders injured when a cable snapped, showering them with debris. 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 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 Division 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.


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