A man who observed a large crack in a roller coaster’s support beam at a North Carolina amusement park said he made multiple reports to park staff before any action was taken.
“I felt there was no urgency in any of the employees,” Jeremy Wagner told CNN’s Erica Hill in a new interview.
Wagner was at the Carowinds park in Charlotte with his family on Friday when he made an unsettling observation: a large crack could be seen in the support pillar holding up the Fury 325 coaster. He said his kids had just taken their last ride of the day on the roller coaster.
Wagner said he tried flagging the issue to several Carowinds employees before speaking to someone in guest services, who asked him to send her a video he’d taken of the crack.
“Even after they had me Airdrop the video, the guest services person walked off and said, ‘I’ll send this to somebody,’” Wagner told CNN. “And they just turned around and walked off, you know, nonchalant.”
“I was in a room of about 15 parkgoers and I just wanted to be like, ‘Y’all need to turn around and leave,’” he said. “But I didn’t say anything, it’s not my place. I was hoping they would do the proper thing and shut the ride down.”
As he headed to his car to leave, the ride was still running, Wagner said. Still concerned after an hourlong drive, he called Charlotte’s fire department. Shortly after that, the fire station called back to say that Carowinds had shut down the ride, Wagner told the Washington Post.
A Carowinds spokesperson told HuffPost the ride was closed Friday “after park personnel became aware of a crack at the top of a steel support pillar.”
“The park’s maintenance team is conducting a thorough inspection and the ride will remain closed until repairs have been completed,” the spokesperson said. “Safety is our top priority and we appreciate the patience and understanding of our valued guests during this process.”
Despite the incident, Wagner, a season pass holder, told CNN he still plans to go back to visit the park again as soon as next weekend.
“I don’t have any reservations, I would like to trust their safety protocols in place,” he said.
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