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Coaster ordered shut down, sensors checked at local amusement park

AUTHORITIES have ordered a local amusement park to suspend the operation of one roller coaster and conduct a thorough check on all of its sensor devices on roller coasters in the wake of four mishaps at the Happy Valley in the past three months.

The latest one happened on October 19 when 16 thrill-seekers were left stranded for 25 minutes at about 25 meters above ground after Mega-Lite, one of the park's most popular roller coasters, stopped suddenly. They were offered an emergency stairway to get down.

A sensor device at the brake section on the coaster malfunctioned, sending a wrong signal, which triggered the control system to send an alert that automatically suspends operations of the coaster, an initial investigation showed, according to the Shanghai Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau.

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

Mega-Lite features a steep plunge from 30 meters and its speed is nearly 100 kilometers per hour. The roller coaster has about 200 sensor devices, operator said.

The bureau has ordered the park to stop the operation of the coaster while potential hazards are eliminated, Shen Weimin, deputy director of the bureau, said yesterday.

The operator of the park has replaced 32 sensor devices. The bureau has ordered the park operator to check the outer circuit and the whole control system as well and determine whether the malfunction was caused by disturbance of electromagnetic environment in nearby areas.

On September 28, 28 riders on board the Diving Coaster, another roller coaster at the park, were stuck about 60 meters above the ground for 35 minutes. The bureau said a malfunction of sensor devices was also blamed for the incident, which shut down the coaster as a protective measure.


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