This isn’t Disney, but since Cedar Point is my “home park” I had to share it with everyone…
As reported by the Sandusky Register :
VertiGo support topples
Tuesday, January 15, 2002
Cedar Point’s slingshot thrill ride opened in August; cause of break being investigated.
By BRANDI BARHITE
A 265-foot steel support column broke off of the newest Cedar Point thrill ride, VertiGo, Monday afternoon.
No one was on the ride or standing around when one of three columns supporting the 300-foot vertical slingshot ride broke off from the top, according to Janice Witherow, public relations manager. The amusement park is closed for the season.
Witherow said the collapsed steel column was found at 3:30 p.m. by a Cedar Point worker. She said the bottom 65-foot portion of the column is still intact.
Witherow said the cause of the break is being investigated. At this point, nothing could be attributed to Monday’s events. No one saw the column break, she said.
“It’s too early to say what we are going to do,” Witherow said. “We have called in the ride safety division of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.”
The VertiGo, which debuted in August, is a slingshot ride located in Challenge Park near Soak City. The ride straps up to six passengers into a triangular carriage and launches them nearly 300 feet into the air at speeds reaching 50 mph.
The column at the northwestern section of the ride was the one that fell, Witherow said.
The ride had been touted for its range. Riders were able to choose one of three ways to ride it: Hot Rocket, in which riders remain upright throughout the ride; Cosmic Flip, in which riders begin upright, but the seats rotate 150 degrees at the ride’s climax so riders make a nose dive; or the Big Bang, in which riders are flipped forward 150 degrees shortly after launch.
Witherow said the area has been blocked off, and engineers from S&S Power, the company that designed the ride, are en route to investigate the cause and survey the damage the ride sustained when the column crashed. Witherow said damage to the ride looks minimal.
Rich Allen of the S&S Power is thankful that no one was injured. The Utah-based company also manufactured Cedar Point’s Power Tower.
"If you are looking for a silver lining in this, it is that no one was on the ride, said the general manager.
Allen he does not know what caused the break either.
“I am dumbfounded,” he said. “We had never had any problems with our rides before.”
Although the ride opened late in the amusement park’s season, it was well-received, according to Witherow. She said the park had no problems with the ride before.
Witherow said this incident will not compromise the safety of Cedar Point patrons. She said safety is Cedar Point’s No. 1 concern, and the park will not decide to reopen, the ride until safety is guaranteed.
“These are rides we ride, our families ride, our children ride,” Witherow said. “Cedar Point will never operate any ride unless they are 150 percent sure the ride is safe.”
Cedar Point has never had a support column break on a ride before, according to Witherow.
VertiGo had been certified for its safety through the ride safety division of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. It was under construction for six months.
VertiGo was a pay-as-you ride attraction. It was not part of the main park.
There are rumors in cyberspace that this was weather related. As the article says the Department of Agriculture (which oversees amusement rides in Ohio) has been notified and is investigating.