Steel Vengeance, the world’s “tallest and fastest” hybrid roller coaster, is back to work today after suffering an opening-day malfunction that left the $7.5 million coaster inoperable on what was supposed to be its big day.
As ABC News reports, Saturday was opening day at Sandusky, Ohio’s Cedar Point, one of the premiere roller coaster destinations in the United States, if not the whole world. And much of the opening-day crowd was there for the opening of the new coaster, a hybrid coaster with a steel track and a wooden megastructure. Featuring a 205-foot drop at 90 degrees, speeds of up to 74 miles per hour, and an upside-down portion (unheard of for a wooden coaster until a few years ago), the crowd was not unexpectedly excited to try out the park’s new flagship attraction.
And for a few hours anyway, the new coaster and its fans enjoyed their moment in the sun. That is, until about 1:30 p.m. that afternoon, when an accident took place. Specifically, as park-goer Jenny Fiedler said via The Sandusky Register, one train hit another.
“I was sitting in the station on the train for Steel Vengeance and the train coming in behind us collided with our train.”
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Fortunately, the accident was minor, and no one on either train, or in the station, was injured. Still, says Fiedler, the park did right by everyone who was there.
“Cedar Point definitely took care of us though. They gave everyone a single day meal pass and a Fast Lane pass. I am very happy that no one was injured and very grateful for the stuff that the park gave us. I hope that Steel Vengeance will be open again soon!”
Representatives from the park and from Ondrey and RMC (the coaster’s manufacturer) were on-site immediately to figure out what happened and make sure it wouldn’t happen again. By later that night, social media users were posting that Steel Vengeance was up and running again – but by that time most park-goers were heading home and there were few riders left to enjoy the coaster.
Today, the second day of the opening weekend, the coaster, which comes with its own cinematic trailer, is up and running again, according to the Register.
Accidents on roller coasters and other theme park attractions are exceptionally rare, according to a 2013 ABC News report, and most people who get injured on such attractions are found to have violated safety protocols (such as not keeping their hands and arms inside the ride vehicle at all times, or disabling their safety equipment). The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, an amusement park industry trade group, puts the odds of being injured on a theme park attraction at one in 24 million, and the chance of being killed at one in 750 million.