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October 29, 2013

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Home » Metro » Entertainment and Culture

Coaster grounded over safety scares

HAPPY Valley has been ordered to keep a roller coaster out of service, following a series of breakdowns with rides at the amusement park over the past three months.

Management at the park, located 40 kilometers west of downtown in Songjiang District, have been told by the authorities to check sensors on all roller coasters.

In the latest incident on October 19, 16 people were left stranded for 25 minutes 25 meters off the ground after Mega-Lite — one of the park’s most popular roller coasters — stopped suddenly.

The thrill-seekers used an emergency stairway to get down.

An initial investigation found that a sensor on the brake section malfunctioned, sending a wrong signal, said the Shanghai Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau

This triggered the control system to send an alert that automatically suspends operations on the coaster, said the safety watchdog.

The operator of the park has contacted overseas producer of the sensors to further determine the cause of the breakdown.

Mega-Lite features a steep plunge from 30 meters and travels at speeds of nearly 100 kilometers per hour. The coaster has about 200 sensors, the operator said.

The bureau told the park that Mega-Lite cannot run again until potential hazards are removed, Shen Weimin, deputy director of the bureau, said yesterday.

The coaster has not been in service since the breakdown.

Happy Valley has replaced 32 sensors on the coaster and the bureau has ordered the park operator to check the whole control system, as well to determine whether the malfunction was caused by electromagnetic influences in nearby areas.

The park has also been told to improve management, maintenance and safety advice to riders, Shen said.

The bureau will also provide technical support for the park and inspect other amusement parks in the city.

Happy Valley has been plagued by problems with its rides in recent months.

In September, 28 riders on the Diving Coaster were stuck 60 meters off the ground for 35 minutes. This malfunction was also blamed on sensors.

Another ride, Wooden Coaster-Fireball, suffered two similar breakdowns in July, stranding more than 30 people.



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