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Enhanced Knott's Ride Reopens

June 28, 2004|From a Times Staff Writer

Knott's Berry Farm reopened its Xcelerator roller coaster over the weekend with enhanced safety features on the restraint system, park officials said.

The ride had been closed since earlier this month after state safety inspectors asked the park to improve the design of a T-shaped lap bar.

A similar lap bar made by Switzerland-based manufacturer Intamin AG has been the focus of two recent out-of-state fatal accidents. And in 2001, a woman died at Knott's after falling out of Perilous Plunge, an Intamin ride also equipped with a T-bar restraint.

Based on those cases and safety concerns, officials from the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health on June 1 asked Knott's Berry Farm to make changes to the Xcelerator and Six Flags Magic Mountain to enhance restraints on Superman: The Escape and keep the rides closed until fixes could be made.

Knott's raised the side bars on each seat and added an indicator that changes from red to green when the lap bar is adequately lowered.

The improvements were approved by a state inspector, Knott's officials said.

The Superman ride at Magic Mountain remains closed.

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