Knott's Thrill Ride Brake Froze: OSHA - NBC Southern California

Knott's Thrill Ride Brake Froze: OSHA

A thrill ride at Knott's Berry Farm left people stranded for three hours on Wednesday. The ride also broke down previously, officials said



    Knott's WindSeeker Shuttered After 2nd Breakdown

    The Knotts Berry Farm ride that stranded 20 people high in the air remained closed on Thursday while investigators tried to understand what went wrong. It was the second time in as many weeks that the ride malfunctioned. Vikki Vargas reports from Buena Park for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 20, 2012. (Published Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012)

    A brake on a Knott's Berry Farm thrill ride froze, leaving 20 people dangling some 300 feet in the air for nearly four hours in its second breakdown in less than two weeks, officials with California's workplace safety board said on Thursday.

    The WindSeeker ride will remain shuttered pending the inspections.

    Watch: Five WindSeeker Breakdowns So Far This Year

    Dean Fryer, a spokesman with California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CalOSHA), said inspectors were reviewing maintenance records, mechanical procedures and other issues with Knott's Berry Farm officials after the park's newest ride stopped working around 4 p.m. Wednesday.

    Investigation: WindSeeker Breakdowns

    [LA] WindSeeker Breakdowns: 5 Malfunctions, 4 Amusement Parks, 1 Year
    A thrill ride at Knott's Berry Farm left people stranded for nearly four hours on Wednesday in the fifth WindSeeker breakdown this year. Cal OSHA is investigating the Knotts Berry breakdown -- the second time in as many weeks -- and says there may be a design flaw in the Dutch-manufactured ride. Joel Grover reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Sept. 20, 2012.
    (Published Friday, Sept. 21, 2012)

    "The fact that the brake froze I would say is a mechanical failure," said Fryer. "The whole process of releasing the ride so that it comes back down to the ground is a safety mechanism." 

    It's the second mechanical issue that has shut the ride since it opened in August 2011, officials said. On Sept. 7, an electrical relay malfunctioned, causing the ride to shut down, officials said.

    On Wednesday, riders were left stranded until about 7:50 p.m., nearly two hours after the park's 6 p.m. closure.

    Knott's Berry Ride Malfunction

    [LA] Knott's Berry Ride Malfunction
    For the second time in nearly two weeks the Wind Seeker ride at Knott's Berry Farm malfunctioned. Twenty riders were stranded about 300 feet in the air. After nearly four hours, the riders were safely returned to the ground. Kim Baldonado reports from Buena Park for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2012.
    (Published Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012)

    Officials said the brake froze as the ride was beginning its descent. Crews had manually release the brake and manually crank the ride to the ground to safely remove its riders, officials said.

    There were no reports of injuries, Buena Park police Cpl. Andy Luong said. Firefighters were not called in response to the mishap, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Marc Stone said.

    Jimmy Garrison, who was among those stranded on the ride, said he never felt he was in danger.

    "There's probably a system in there that allows for it to release for it to come down on its own," said Garrison. "I wasn't concerned about that. The workers were in there frantically trying to get everybody down."

    His wife, Dona, said she won't press her luck by going back on the ride.

    "I'm not going to tempt fate again ," she said.

    The WindSeeker has 32 two-person gondolas that go 301 feet up and then swing riders for a minute at a 45-degree angle at eight rotations per minute, according to the theme park's website.

    The ride, made by Dutch manufacturer Mondial, also became stuck on Sept. 7, Blazey said.

    In that case, the problem stemmed from a faulty reading on an electrical safety switch that is not a part of the ride, park officials told the Orange County Register.

    On that occasion, 15 people were reported stranded.

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