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Rita roller coaster closed at Alton Towers after launch cable snaps

Rita roller coaster

The Rita roller coaster at Alton Towers is currently out of action, after the cable used to launch the ride's train snapped during a test run.

The incident occurred early in the morning on July 24, 2012. It is not yet known how long Rita will be closed, with the park currently routing guests around the ride to the other major attraction in the Dark Forest area, Thirteen. A new cable will be need to be installed and tested before the coaster can reopen to guests.

Rita is an Intamin accelerator roller coaster, which opened in 2005 at a cost of £8 million. Its opening section launches riders from 0 to 62 miles per hour in just 2.2 seconds, sending them into a series of high-speed corners and hills.

The launch mechanism is based around hydraulic pumps, and employs several metal cables. A number of previous cable-snapping incidents have been reported on Intamin accelerator coasters, with the most serious having occured on the Xcelerator coaster at Knott's Berry Farm in 2009. This created a cloud of debris and caused a laceration to a 12-year-old boy's leg.

The incident on Xcelerator was investigated by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, which found that it could been avoided if Knott's Berry Farm had been up-to-date on its maintenance schedule at the time. Manufacturer Intamin also received criticism for "shortcomings" in its instructions for inspecting and maintaining the cable, which failed to specify whether it should be inspected every month, or every six months.

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