Broken Cable On Theme Park Ride Causes Close Call For Two Teens
When a Wisconsin ride operator said the ropes looked a little frayed on The Catapult, everyone thought, or at least hoped, he was joking in front of the already nervous passengers.
But it turned out that his observation turned out to be spot-on, when one of the supporting bungee cords completely snapped and crashed to the ground just seconds before the ride was supposed to quickly hurl two teens high into the air.
Part of the appeal of The Catapult is to be shot straight up by two cables at a high speed, and then spin and bob back and forth until you slow down, then you’re brought back to the ground. Safety features keep passengers from flying too far up or in other dangerous directions during their launch.
However, if one of the cables is broken or not connected, passengers could potentially be flung in any sort of direction, and though they were enclosed in a metal cage, they could suffer injuries or even death.
Bystanders, including the dad of one of the teen passengers, were stunned when the cable snapped quickly and with so much force that the impact damaged the pavement. Video footage shot by the teen’s father showed the cable clearly snapping as it was preparing to add tension before take-off.
The incident took place at Mt. Olympus Theme Park and Resort, a popular attraction in the Wisconsin Dells. However, The Catapult was an independently owned and operated ride.
Mt. Olympus staff and state investigators ordered the ride shut down, and later in the week, Mt. Olympus asked for it to be removed.
News reports from that time showed that The Catapult had been in that location for about three years without any reported problems. Mt. Olympus, however, was the site of a guest injury in spring 2014 when a passenger was thrown from one of its roller coasters after a lap bar popped open mid-ride.
The two teens aboard The Catapult declined the offer of another ride when it was repaired. Mt. Olympus did refund their ride fee and offer them accommodations.