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Xcelerator reopens at Knotts Berry Farm as state blames park, manufacturer for incident

Xcelerator launch image

The Xcelerator rollercoaster at Knott's Berry Farm has reopened, with state investigators blaming the park and manufacturer Intamin for the incident which caused its closure last September.

Xcelerator reopened at around 5pm on Monday, April 26, having been closed since the incident on September 16, 2009. State investigators allowed the ride to return to action having agreed new safety measures with Knott's Berry Farm aimed at preventing at a repeat of the incident, which occurred when a launch cable snapped and showered riders with debris.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health's report on the Xcelerator incident says it could have been avoided if Knott's Berry Farm had been up-to-date on its maintenance schedule at the time. The LA Times reports that the park was 19 days late on its 6-month inspection schedule for Xcelerator.

Manufacturer Intamin also receives criticism for "shortcomings" in its instructions for inspecting and maintaining the cable. These failed to specify whether the cable should be inspected every month, or every six months. According to the OC Register, Knott's Berry Farm inquired as to the correct inspection period in 2007 but received no response.

Cal/OSHA will now require Knott's Berry Farm to carry out monthly "magnetic inductive" inspections of the cable to detect flaws. These should help prevent a repeat occurrence, with the cable claimed to have snapped due to "normal wear".

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.

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