Brake malfunction caused Knotts Berry Farm's WindSeeker to lock up

Loren Javier via Flicker creative commons

The Windseeker attraction at Southern California's Knott's Berry Farm. At least 20 riders were left dangling 300 feet over the amusement park Wednesday night after the attraction malfunctioned.

Investigators determined Thursday that a brake malfunction caused Knott’s Berry Farm’s WindSeeker ride to abruptly shut down yesterday Wednesday.

That left about two dozen passengers dangling 300 feet above the ground for hours. Nobody was hurt. Cal-OSHA spokesman Dean Fryer said they have yet to determine why that happened in the first place.

“We’ve got quite a bit of work ahead of us to, you know, dig into this issue. We are going to talk to the manufacturer of the ride to see there are similar issues that have occurred with other rides around the nation that they have in place in different states.”

Fryer said inspectors had cleared the ride a month ago.

He maintains that its safety mechanism did what it was supposed to do.

“When something happened to it… it stopped. And that’s for the protection of the patrons on that ride,” he says.

Michael Dills, 50, was stuck on the ride with his 11-year old daughter. He told the Los Angeles Times “if [inspectors] did their jobs right, then that ride shouldn’t get stuck the way it did.”

Knott’s WindSeeker will remain closed until the agency completes its investigation, which includes looking through maintenance records, interviewing staff, and working with the park and the ride’s manufacturer.

Cal-OSHA is also investigating another incident that occurred on that same ride two weeks ago.

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