Expedition GeForce Accident
At the time it opened, Expedition GeForce was the second tallest coaster in Germany and the forth Intamin Megacoaster. The ride now stands at 173 feet tall and hits speeds of 74.6mph in its airtime filled 4000 foot long course. Expedition GeForce was the first Megacoaster by Intamin to use four-tubed track and the first to use a cable lift instead of a chain.
Before this Wednesday, Expedition GeForce had a relativity clean track record, with its only prior incident being an October 2009 lift cable snapping. On April 28th, a train climbed the lift hill. It sped down the first drop. At the bottom, the axle and wheel assemblies on the 4th car derailed and the train ground to a halt on the top of the first camel back hill. The 4th and 5th cars hung halfway off of the track, giving the 8 passengers in those cars a little more than their daily dose of thrill. The local fire department had to evacuate 26 passengers from the roller coaster with aerial ladders. So far, the only injuries reported have been minor bruises and shock.
Keep your eyes peeled for additional information as it becomes available.*Thanks to Domenic M. for correcting me.
Xcelerator at Knott’s Berry Farm is scheduled to reopen Monday, May 3rd, seven months after an accident in which two riders suffered minor injuries. Since September, OSHA officials have been investigating the accident and have just recently stated that the ride is safe to operate.
In the accident, a cable snapped during the 0-80mph launch, and shrapnel showered the two riders in the first row of the train. The 12-year old boy, who was seated on the right side of the train, sustained a cut leg, while his father, who was seated on the left, received back injuries. At the time of the accident, Knott's Berry farm had on-ride cameras that captured video of the riders, that they could purchase after getting off the ride.
The manufacturer of the ride, Intamin AG, has had previous issues with its cables before. Notable accidents include a similar yet less serious incident in 2004 on Cedar Point’s Top Thrill Dragster and the June 2007 cable snapping of Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom’s Superman Tower of Power, where a 13-year-old girl lost both of her feet. The Kentucky Kingdom accident as well as the Knott's accident were both attributed for the most part to poor maintenance on the parks’ part, rather than any errors made by Intamin.
OSHA’s California Division has placed the blame on both Knott’s for poor maintenance, and on Intamin AG for not making the maintenance instructions clear enough. The state considered the manufacture’s maintenance instructions self contradictory and confusing and could not determine if the cable was supposed to be inspected every month or every six months. Knott’s was inspecting the cable every six months and at the time of the accident, was 19 days overdue for inspection. The state has required Knott’s Berry Farm to “put into place additional safeguards to determine cable viability and to work with the manufacturer to revise maintenance instructions,” according to the park.
In just three short weeks, Cedar Point’s newest investment, Shoot the Rapids, will open to the public. But not before some generous VIPs get their turn. Cedar Point is auctioning off the first 30 seats with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross, Firelands Chapter.
The bidding starts at 75$ and goes up from there. A credit card number must be provided to prove legitimacy. The top 30 bidders will be awarded a commemorative T-shirt and medallion, free breakfast, free admission to the park as well as first seats on the new ride.
Shoot the Rapids will be a “shoot-the-chutes” style ride made by IntaRide LLC, a division of Intamin AG, and cost the park $10.5 million. During the 3 minute ride, guests will experience two drops, both at 45 degree angles. The first plunges riders 85 feet down into the splash pool below while the sends drops 49 feet.
But this ride isn’t just about those two drops. Between those two highlights will be some scenery including a waterfall that the 10 passenger boats will pass underneath. And then there’s the finale as the last drop sends riders down into the rapids below guaranteeing a good soaking for all involved.
When Shoot the Rapids finally opens up on May 15th, Cedar Point will have added yet another notch to its impressive arsenal of thrills, with this one being able to please the whole family. The 2010 season is definitely looking up for the jewel of the Cedar Fair chain.
If you recall, last December, Apollo Global Management made an offer to purchase the Cedar Fair chain for $635 million in addition to taking on the company's debt. The total deal was valued at $2.4 billion with each shareholder receiving $11.50 per unit.
Since the deal was originally announced, there has been little but discontent expressed by Cedar Fair's shareholders however, and with the terms of the agreement requiring at at least 2/3 of stockholders to be in favor of the deal, things have finally fallen through.
At least 7 lawsuits were filed against Cedar Fair by stockholders for purposefully attempting to sell the company when stock values were low due to the recent recession. And many of the larger stakeholders in the company have publicly said that they will not back this sale.
Well, Cedar Fair listened and has taken their deal with Apollo off the table. With the necessary support for the deal obviously lacking, they really had no other choice. Cedar Fair is now stuck paying Apollo $6.5 million for expenses incurred during the ordeal.
So for now it looks as though the parks will not change hands. But Cedar Fair has stated that they had been looking into the possibility of selling the park prior to striking a deal with Apollo, so it stands to reason that they very well may continue to search for a buyer in the future.