CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – Carowinds will not be fined after a crack was discovered in one of the North Carolina theme park’s roller coasters, according to North Carolina Department of Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson.
The ride, Fury 325, was shut down after a viral video showed the ride operating despite a huge crack in one of its support beams.
The ride remains closed while the park awaits a new support column to be delivered next week.
The North Carolina Department of Labor, meanwhile, has maintained a presence at Carowinds for days after seeing the video.
Dobson said he’s had an inspector at the park most of the week. Initially, the state agreed with the assessment from Carowinds that the crack started along the weld line of the support column.
“There’s still an investigation going on,” he added. “But best we can tell there was a crack in the weld that over perhaps a week or two-week period become severed.”
Speaking with the Associated Press, Dobson said it’s possible the cracks were developing well over a week before they were brought to the park’s attention.
“It looks like maybe six to 10 days prior, some pictures had been taken that shows the beginning of the crack, and then by obviously last Friday, the thing was completely severed,” Dobson said.
In a statement, Carowinds says workers inspect the roller coaster daily. But once the support beam is replaced, the park will use a drone to check the ride’s hard-to-reach areas.
Currently, amusement rides in North Carolina are inspected annually by the Department of Labor.
After the new support beam is installed next week, a Carowinds spokesperson said the ride will be run 500 times before additional inspections by the state and a third party.
“Until we are 100% comfortable with issuing a new certificate of operation, we will not do so,” added Dobson.