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Design Flaw Shuts Down Magic Mountain Ride

July 03, 2002|MANUEL GAMIZ JR. | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Magic Mountain's newest thrill ride will be shut down indefinitely as ride engineers work on a design flaw on one of the 28 coach seats that twist, spin and flip riders while moving at 76 mph, park officials said Tuesday.

"It was not riding as efficiently as we would have liked it to," park spokesman Andy Gallardo said about the "X" ride, which opened in January.

The ride, which features 360-degree turns and 200-foot drops, was shut down three weeks ago after maintenance crews noticed one of the coach seats, which spin riders upside-down, was not moving smoothly, Gallardo said. The problem was expected to be fixed soon but has taken longer than anticipated, he said.

Amusement ride inspectors with the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health are scheduled to check the ride July 19 after modifications are completed, said Susan Gard, a Cal/OSHA spokeswoman.

Los Angeles County building and safety officials also conduct inspections at Six Flags Magic Mountain every 90 days, and amusement park maintenance crews watch daily for safety or operational problems, Gallardo said.

Research is underway to determine whether fast-moving thrill rides have a connection to brain injuries.

A 28-year-old Fontana woman died in June 2001 shortly after riding Goliath, another Magic Mountain roller coaster. Her parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit in May.

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