Knott's Berry Farm may finally be able to reopen its Xcelerator rollercoater this weekend, with investigators carrying out a final safety inspection on the ride.
Xcelerator has been closed since an incident last September, which saw two riders injured when a launch cable snapped. The Orange County Register reports that the investigation should be completed in time for the ride to reopen on Saturday, although if further safety adjustments are required this date could be pushed back by a week or more.
California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health is leading the investigation into the Xcelerator incident. As previously reported, it is close to finalizing its report - with spokesman Dean Fryer saying: "Conceivably we could have this wrapped up later this week."
Knott's Berry Farm's website currently lists Xcelerator as reopening on April 30, although this date has been repeatedly moved as the investigation has dragged on. The park is powerless to reopen the ride until the reported is released and investigators confirm that they are satisfied with safety upgrades made following the incident.
The cable at the centre of the incident is part of the Xcelerator's hydraulic launch system, which catapults the coaster towards a top speed of 82mph. During the launch, the cable 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.
The cable was last replaced in December 2008, in line with manufacturer Intamin's recommendation that it be replaced on a yearly basis. A similar incident occurred on the Intamin-designed Top Thrill Dragster rollercoaster at Cedar Point in 2004, with a snapped cable causing metal shards and hot oil to be sprayed onto riders.