SANDUSKY — An amusement park ride that swings riders as high as 125 feet is closed indefinitely after a cable snapped late Saturday, injuring two visitors.
Cedar Point spokesman Bryan Edwards said a cable on one of the Skyhawk ride’s carriages disconnected. One rider was treated at a hospital and released. The other person was treated at the scene, the park said.
A man who said he was near the ride when the accident occurred about 10 p.m. reported hearing “something whip, then bang and screaming.”
Kevin Gregg of Barnegat, N.J., operator of an online amusement park fan site called Themeparkmaniacs.com, told The Plain Dealer of Cleveland the ride slowed to a stop with riders screaming.
Gregg said the cable damaged the fence in front of the ride where spectators often stand and watch. He said he was back at Cedar Point on Sunday and rides were operating normally, except for Skyhawk.
Skyhawk has two giant arms that swing riders at speeds up to 60 mph. The park said the ride was closed temporarily in 2013 for an unrelated reason.
About 11:30 p.m. Saturday, a Sandusky Register reporter entered the park. Here’s what was observed:
- All pathways that lead to Skyhawk were barricaded. At least three Cedar Point police officers stood guard. When asked, one officer said the area was blockaded for cleaning purposes.
- All other rides surrounding Skyhawk — even the ones that were not operating any longer for the night — were illuminated by at least some lights. Skyhawk and the surrounding area was completely darkened.
- A Cedar Point employee who works near Skyhawk said he heard a series of loud bangs. He said he watched as Skyhawk jerked abnormally. When the ride came to a stop, it was not stopped mechanically. Rather, it swung until gravity stopped it, the employee said.
- No ambulances or emergency personnel were in the area.
Edwards said Skyhawk will remain closed until an investigation into the cause of the accident is completed.
Edwards said in a statement: “Safety is our top priority.”
Cedar Point is the flagship park of Cedar Fair Entertainment, the nation’s fourth largest amusement park company.