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Knott's Closes Its XK-1 Ride After Park Death in Ohio

June 12, 1991|CHRIS WOODYARD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

BUENA PARK — The popular XK-1 ride at Knott's Berry Farm remained closed Tuesday as a precaution after an accident Sunday in which a woman was thrown to her death from an identical ride at an Ohio amusement park.

The 2-year-old XK-1 was shut down two hours after the weekend accident at the Kings Island park in Mason, Ohio, said Stuart Zanville, a Knott's spokesman. The ride's Swiss manufacturer notified Knott's officials of the accident.

"Any time there is an accident on an identical ride, we will take the ride out of operation until we find the cause," Zanville said. "Once they establish the cause, we will determine whether any action needs to be taken. We just want to be sure before we put the ride back in service."

Officials of Intamin Co., the Maryland-based subsidiary of Intamin AG in Freienbach, Switzerland, have gone to Kings Island to inspect the ride. The cause of the accident has not yet been disclosed.

The woman, who had gone to the park with friends, reportedly fell out of a descending car on the revolving Flight Commander ride. Like the XK-1 at Knott's, the Ohio ride involves a simulated airplane flight in which the rider can use controls to move the car in different directions as it turns. Riders are constrained by a shoulder harness and a lap bar.

By coincidence, two men were electrocuted the same day in a pond near a beer garden at the Ohio amusement park.

Zanville said Knott's has never had a major ride-related accident injury or fatality.

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