‘Terrifying’: Inspectors arrive at Carowinds, examine break on Fury 325 support beam

CHARLOTTE — Days after Carowinds shut down one of its most popular roller coasters, state inspectors descended on the amusement park to check on a broken support beam that used to hold up a section of Fury 325.

Chopper 9 Skyzoom saw those inspectors with the North Carolina Department of Labor Monday morning. They were examining a crack on a support beam for the Fury.

Carowinds told Channel 9 that their rides are inspected daily by staff. Fury 325 has been shut down since Friday.

Channel 9′s Genevieve Curtis learned that the Fury was last inspected by the state on February 23 of this year, and no violations were found.

But one mother, Melissa Pinto, says she’s frustrated with the park’s response. She wants to know how long the crack was there.

“They say they inspect their rides daily, how did something this big go uninspected?” Pinto said.

Pinto told Curtis that her 15-year-old son made a comment to her after getting off Fury Friday night.

“This time, he said it just felt different, or wobbly,” she said.

A few hours later, they saw a video on our newscast, showing the support beam severed just below a curve in the track.

“My heart literally dropped,” Pinto said. “I don’t want to know what the outcome could have been -- terrifying, terrifying.”

But not everyone who rode Fury before it was shut down was concerned by the news.

McLain Waddell is better known around Carowinds by his nickname, “The Fury Guy.”

“It’s therapy - 15 to 40 times a day, [I] try to be there every day of the week, before work, after work,” Waddell told Curtis.

He’s clocked a record 10,442 rides on the park’s flagship coaster, including a dozen laps Friday night shortly before the ride was shut down.

Waddell wasn’t worried.

“It’s steel; it’s a stress fracture, things happen,” Waddell said. “Nobody was in danger, we were safe. I still loved it Friday night.”

As investigators got up and close on the coaster, they examined every angle and assessed what’s next for the attraction.

“They’re going to fix it; it’s going to be better than before,” Waddell said.

Waddell hopes it’s not a season-ending repair.

He has no fear of the Fury, he’s just eager for its return.

“I’ll be the first one,” he told Curtis. “I’ll be here with bells on, ready to be on the first train.”

Carowinds hasn’t made an additional comment since issuing a statement Friday. We’ve reached out to Carowinds and the manufacturer of Fury 325, Bolliger & Mabillard, for additional comment.

(WATCH: ‘Completely fractured’: Crack on support beam of Fury 325 forces ride closure)

Comments on this article