Six Flags Magic Mountain’s long time main attraction, the classic wooden roller coaster Colossus, caught fire Monday afternoon, flames torching much of a high point on the structure, forcing damaged beams to give way.
Both KTLA 5 and NBC 4 news helicopters captured footage of Colossus ablaze as firefighters doused the flames from below.
Located in Valencia, California, Six Flags Magic Mountain has featured what was once the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster on the planet, Colossus, for over 37 years. The coaster opened on June 29, 1978.
The iconic coaster, which boasts an initial 100 foot drop (now dwarfed and literally overshadowed by the 300 foot drop of fellow Six Flags Magic Mountain roller coaster, Goliath), recently closed to make way for its successor, Twisted Colossus.
Yours truly had the chance to get a last ride on Colossus a few days before it closed in mid-August, and I am quite thankful it wasn’t on fire at the time.
A stunning HD video animation of the future Twisted Colossus in action can also be viewed below.
The peak of Colossus’s famous 100 foot drop appears to be what caught fire.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Los Angeles County Fire authorities were alerted to the blaze at 1:32 p.m. Six Flags Magic Mountain was closed at the time, though no one was riding Colossus and no injuries were reported. The video footage showing the blaze, and the resulting collapse at the top of the hill that left a gaping wound in Colossus, was reportedly captured at about 1:50 p.m.
According to Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Scott Miller, firefighters often train at the park, but mostly for rescues.
“It’s not something you see every day,” said Miller of the Colossus inferno.
Investigating Sheriff’s officials said the fire was accidentally sparked by welders that were working on Colossus’s reconstruction metamorphosis into Twisted Colossus.
Not two weeks have passed since Six Flags Magic Mountain announced that Colossus would be transformed into Twisted Colossus, with little time being wasted between the mid-August closure of Colossus and the beginning of reconstruction for Twisted Colossus. However, today’s fire will likely hamper the reconstruction.
Twisted Colossus will reportedly be a hybrid wood-and-steel coaster slated to make its debut in 2015. Rocky Mountain Construction, based in Idaho, received the nod from Six Flags to do the job of transforming Colossus into the more modern Twisted Colossus. The company has similar conversions on several other wooden coasters, changing them into into hybrid coasters complete with looping inversions.
Construction plans include removal of over 3,000 feet of track and the demolition of track leading from the departing station. In the end, barring any other misfortunes such as today’s fire, Twisted Colossus will rise from the ashes to the delight of thrill seekers and roller coaster fanatics everywhere:
[Image via Johnny_Havasu26 Instagram and Videos via YouTube]