State releases report on Carowinds ride’s cracked support beam

CHARLOTTE — The Department of Labor has released its report on the cracked beam supporting the Fury 325 roller coaster at Carowinds.

It was a shocking story that broke last year. A viewer sent video to Channel 9 showing the crack in the ride’s support beam. It showed the beam moving as the world’s tallest giga-coaster flew by.

The Department of Labor launched an investigation and the ride was shut down for months before it eventually reopened. On Friday, the agency released its findings.

The report, which was prepared by the engineering firm Applied Technical Services, includes photos of the beam.

The crack was caused by “unidirectional bending fatigue,” the report says. It says the fracture started at toe of the weld, which is the edge of it. Because of where it formed, engineers called the crack a “stress raiser” and the report says it accelerated the formation of that fracture.

The support column has only been in place since 2015. The report says its life expectancy was supposed to be more than 50 years.

>> Read the full report here.

Channel 9 found out last year that this was not the only crack on Fury. Another Department of Labor report confirms this; six more cracks were found in beams in late July and early August. The records show they were re-welded.

One of those cracks was discovered by using a drone.

Carowinds told Channel 9′s Joe Bruno drones are a new way the park is ensuring rides are safe. They’re being used in addition to human inspections.

>> Bruno is still going through the Department of Labor report and will have more on Eyewitness News starting at 5 p.m.

Carowinds shared a statement with Channel 9 about the investigation, saying they are dedicated to maintaining the safety of their ride. Read the full statement below:

“The safety of our guests and associates will always be Carowinds’ top priority. Fury 325 reopened on August 10, 2024, following a final inspection by the North Carolina Department of Labor’s Elevator and Amusement Device Bureau. The ride’s return to operation marked the end of a comprehensive plan dedicated to ensuring the safety and operational readiness of the coaster, as outlined in a series of updates publicly shared by the park last summer.

“The Bureau inspected Fury 325 on February 29, 2024, prior to the park opening for the 2024 season and approved it for operation.

“Like all of our rides and attractions at Carowinds, Fury 325 is inspected daily by our staff during operation. For more information about ride inspections, please visit our AirTime blog.

“Carowinds looks forward to welcoming guests to experience Fury 325, rated “Best Steel Coaster” by Amusement Today for eight years.”


(WATCH BELOW: Carowinds shares timeline for repairing Fury 325 roller coaster)