Rider speaks out after being stuck for hours on Carowinds ride

Rider speaks out after being stuck for hours on Carowinds ride

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by DIANNE GALLAGHER & BEN THOMPSON / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @DianneG

WCNC.com

Posted on July 16, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 17 at 9:31 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After a mechanical malfunction caused nearly 30 people to be stranded on the WindSeeker ride at Carowinds Saturday,  NewsChannel 36 has discovered a similar incident on the same ride at Cedar Point amusement park in Ohio.

Carowinds said a safety sensor triggered Saturday's incident, which left passengers dangling for two-and-half hours.

No one was hurt in the incident.

Chad Kistler of Mooresville was on the WindSeeker when it malfunctioned.

"All the sudden it stopped. Everyone was looking at each other like, 'Is this part of the ride?' and I'm like 'No, it's not,'" recalled Kistler. "After about three minutes, everyone started freaking out. People wondering if they were going to die."

Kistler claimed to get a sunburn while waiting, but said no one was actually injured. He added that Carowinds officials did check on the riders once on the ground, but never offered any refund.

In June, a different mechanical problem caused a similar outcome on the WindSeeker at the park in Sandusky, Ohio. According to published reports, a few dozen people were stuck on the ride for about an hour. Both parks are owned by Cedar Fair.

A quick internet search suggests a number of issues on the various WindSeekers across the country.  The manufacturer, Mondial, didn't respond to emails.

On Monday, Carowinds officials canceled a television interview with NewsChannel 36, but promised all proper tests were done to make sure the ride was safe. The park reopened the ride Sunday. 

A Carowinds spokesperson said the ride never had "previous extended down time."

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