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Son of Beast Loop Removal: Official!

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Son of Beast Inspection Complete

 

KINGS ISLAND, Ohio - The State of Ohio's Department of Agriculture released today its final report detailing the outcome of the extensive Son of Beast inspection. The report reaffirms initial indications that the incident was an unforeseen single event failure.

 

Kings Island will now focus its energies on the appropriate and necessary changes needed to reopen the ride in 2007. In addition to reinforcing the physical structure of the ride, the Park plans to remove the loop. Taking this extra step enables the use of lighter trains, which will reduce the load and lead to a more comfortable ride experience.

 

The Park is making good progress on Son of Beast and is fully committed to reopening the ride in 2007.

 

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: "FUN") is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio. The Partnership, which owns and operates twelve amusement parks, five outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and six hotels, is one of the largest regional amusement park operators in the world. Its parks are located in Ohio, California, Toronto, North Carolina, Virginia / District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri and Michigan.

 

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http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/art...EWS01/312130022

 

Son of Beast flaw cited

BY JESSICA BROWN | JLBROWN@ENQUIRER.COM

 

MASON – The July 9 roller coaster accident at Paramount’s Kings Island that sent 27 people to the hospital was caused by a deficiency in the structural design, according to a state report released today.

 

The design flaw in the Son of Beast allowed a vertical wooden support beam to crack. The failure of that support led to the failure of two other supports, causing a slight dip in the track, according to the state. “This led to a ‘pothole’ effect, injuring riders,” states the report from the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

 

In order for the ride to reopen, the park must:

 

• hire a qualified engineering firm to conduct a detailed review of the entire structural design;

 

• complete structural modifications to eliminate design deficiencies;

 

• complete structural modifications to stiffen the structure and reduce lateral movement;

 

• strengthen the wood components and connections to ensure structural integrity. Metal chain plates should be added to strengthen wood components and metal split rings should be added to strengthen bolted connections.

 

The ride, which opened in 2000, has been closed since the accident. Kings Island rebuilt a portion of the coaster in August. Two negligence lawsuits have since been filed by injured riders.

 

Kings Island officials plan to remove the “loop” portion of the roller coaster and re-open the ride this spring.

 

“That enables us to use lighter trains,” said Maureen Kaiser, park spokeswoman. “That will reduce the load on the physical structure and lead to a more comfortable ride experience.”

 

She said the change is above and beyond what the state required.

 

The change is expected to be a multi-million dollar project and will remove the Son of Beast's designation as the only looping wooden roller coaster in the world.

 

Kaiser said guest safety and comfort comes first. It remains the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in the world.

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I find this kind of yucky... I guess If it means new lighter trains and an improved ride then I'm for it. I still will miss the loop. It was my first inversion on a coaster. I say replace the loop with a decent portion of tunnel. Son would really live up to father then.

Edited by AgentSoB

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At least you can say you rode it with the loop!

 

It will be like people who have ridden the Bat! I'm somewhat elite now! :D

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http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/news...te/16230820.htm

 

State: design problem caused roller coaster accident

LISA CORNWELL

Associated Press

 

CINCINNATI - A roller coaster's wooden support beams were not designed to bear the ride's weight, causing a dip in the track that jolted 27 passengers injured in July, state investigators said Wednesday.

 

The design flaw with the looping, wooden Son of Beast coaster at Paramount's Kings Island caused a vertical support called a bent leg to crack, said the Ohio Department of Agriculture, which regulates the state's amusement parks.

 

Most injured passengers were treated for bruises, but one woman suffered a broken sternum and was hospitalized for four days.

 

"The failure of one bent leg led to the failure of two other bent legs, causing a slight dip in the track," a statement from the department said. That dip created a pothole effect that led to the riders' injuries.

 

The amusement park in suburban Mason shut down the ride that tops 78 mph and has an 118-foot tall loop. An initial inspection by the state detected the cracked timber.

 

The state said the park must make several improvements before it can reopen the ride, including hiring engineers to review the design and making structural changes to eliminate deficiencies. The park should add metal supports to help strengthen the structure and make it more resistant to stress, investigators said.

 

"The park knows the things that must be completed," Agriculture Department spokeswoman LeeAnne Mizer said. "We've had several meetings with them, and they have agreed to make the necessary changes."

 

Paramount's Kings Island said in a statement Wednesday that the findings support initial indications that the incident was an unforeseen single-event failure. The state's report had the same finding, saying that there was no evidence of progressive long-term damage or any problem with the wood's quality.

 

"Since the crack wasn't there until the event occurred, it would not have been visible during that day's inspection," park spokeswoman Maureen Kaiser said.

 

All the park's rides go through extensive electrical, mechanical and operational tests daily and an inspection team walks every inch of track on the wooden coasters before they open for the day, she said.

 

The park is committed to making the changes so that the ride can reopen in 2007.

 

Kings Island also is making a change that is not required - removing the coaster's loop.

 

"Taking out the loop enables us to use lighter trains, reducing the load on the physical structure and making a more comfortable ride," Kaiser said.

 

A support beam crack or break in a roller coaster is not uncommon, according to Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services Inc., a Cincinnati-based consulting firm for the theme park industry.

 

"They can happen for a variety of reasons such as stress, weathering or age," said Speigel. "Typically when it happens, there is not a catastrophic event, and the Kings Island incident certainly wasn't catastrophic."

 

Cracks and breaks sometimes are found during inspections, he said.

 

Removing the loop is a prudent step, Speigel said.

 

"It will allow them to use lighter trains that won't give riders as much of a jolt as heavier trains," he said.

 

Although Paramount is still included in the park's name, Sandusky-based Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. purchased the park in June. It owns and operates 12 amusement parks, five outdoor water parks, an indoor water park and six hotels. The parks are located in Ohio, California, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, the District of Columbia and Canada.

 

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Ohio Department of Agriculture: http://www.ohioagriculture.gov

 

Paramount's Kings Island: http://www2.paramountparks.com/kingsisland/

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That ruins my day.... The loop was great, there was really no point in taking out the loop. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the beam broke right after the loop, in the double circle. With the loop gone, the cars are going faster throught that section now...

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Ugh, I'm upset to see the loop go, though I know it's for the better.

 

I remember going to PKI in '04 with friends on a band trip. Before that day, I had never ridden a coaster. (Well, I'd ridden the Beastie once when I was little, but after that, I'd dart from the line every time we'd go to the park..scared to death)

Anyway...I told me friends that I would ride a coaster that day to get over my fears. They took me to SoB, and while in the station, I saw the loop. I told my friends I did NOT want to ride a coaster with a loop right off the bat, and they told me the loop wasn't part of this coaster, that it was part of the one next to us. I agreed to ride after learning that. Once the restraints were locked and we were taking that first dip out of the station, I realized the loop was indeed part of Sonny. We came out of the mid-course breaks and turned out towards the loop...and I ended up loving it. I can pretty much say my life changed that day...because from that day on, I have been one of the most obsessive coaster people I know. I drive my friends insane (all except for one, who happens to be just as obsessive as me!)

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Now the question becomes... Will Cedar Fair add another coaster to PKI, a wooden one, with a loop? I believe that paramounts would, but not so sure about Cedar Fair...

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:blink: :blink: :blink: :blink: :blink:

 

HOLY CRAP!!!!

 

Okay, they're removing the loop!?!?!? THE FIRST MODERN LOOP ON A WOODEN ROLLER COASTER!?!?!?

 

What the frickin' heck are they smoking!?!?!?

 

Okay, I'm gonna need some therapy... what the heck? they don't need to REMOVE it! Find some other way around it! Holy crap I can't believe this... holy crap...

 

So my thoughts are negative, they're high on something.

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I think the ride could be so much better without the loop. There surely wont be a hill or anything in its place (not enough room) so it will just be flat track.

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okay, I've calmed down...

 

I really don't see why they're removing the loop... that's Son of Beast's signature feature... hey, that stupid April Fool's joke on EPKI is gonna come true :D

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They are removing the loop for reasons stated time and time again...For lighter trains. Jesus, it's a fricken inversion...Go to FoF and Vortex if you want some, they've got more than enough to go around, and around, and around, and around.

 

Sonny's loop was a gimmick of sorts anyway. Bleh, I say. Bleh.

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No, the loop was something. It was so smooth, I remember the first time I went on it, I closed my eyes cause I hate heights. (I hate going up the hills, don't mind coming down em.) I'm thinking after a while, "We were going pretty fast, and it's been long enough, so, wheres the loop?" I open my eyes, and I see I'm upsidedown. It went perfect there, right by the hill. It was a special part of the ride.

 

Who knows though, with the advances in technology, maybe 5 years down the road, it will return. One can only hope.

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SoB is gona loose a hell of a lot of riders when they take the loop out, and i will have to put up with all my friends complaining......but its for the better, so idk, and what are they gona put in place of the loop? is the hill just going to go down and then up again? that should make the ride a little faster.

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I disagree. I know people that refused to ride the ride just cause they couldn't take the loop. And as much as I'm disappointed, I'm still going to ride it a lot. The loop was only 5 seconds long. It made the ride unique, but there are still so many other parts that make it unique.

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I will miss the loop alot but I will still ride it in the Summer. I missed the ride last year alot. It was my favorite coaster because of the height, speed, and because it had a loop. I think it will still be my favorite coaster even without the loop. I'm glad I got to ride it last year and take some pictures of it with the loop before they removed it. Is it gone already. Are they adding tunnels to the coaster or changing the structure of it in any other way?

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So the question is, what will they do there? Probably just a straigh shoot, maybe a tunnel if were lucky. What would be cool though is if they make a helix to the right. I know they won't, but, if their going to take it out, it's better to add something there then to leave it as a straight.

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