SANDUSKY, Ohio - The popular WindSeeker amusement ride at Cedar Point and five other theme parks across the country have been temporarily shut down following a series of malfunctions.
A 5 On Your Side investigation obtained inspection reports in Ohio and California that detail safety issues before the rides even started up. Despite being approved by state inspectors as safe to operate, we found the "WindSeeker" left riders stranded in the air for hours at amusement parks in three states.
Last June at Cedar Point in Sandusky, the ride came to a sudden stop, stranding 29 riders 150 above ground.
In July, at Carowinds in South Carolina , the same ride stranded 25 more riders for almost three hours.
Just this month, at Knott's Berry Farm outside Los Angeles, the WindSeeker malfunctioned twice, leaving passengers trapped in their seats for hours .
A review of state inspection reports in Ohio and California found inspectors flagged safety issues before the rides even opened up.
At Cedar Point last May, Ohio inspectors found missing bolts that required installation, a loose nut that needed tightening and lap bar lights that required repair.
In August in California, inspectors found a "lack of compliance" with technical standards and "lack of due diligence" by Cedar Fair, the parent company .
Inspection records show it required 17 separate inspections over 11 days to bring the California ride up to safety standards. Inspectors noted that "was an exceptional amount of time."
As a result, Cedar Fair announced it is temporarily closing the WindSeeker ride at all of its six parks.
The company said the rides will remain closed until "an internal review" is completed.
A statement from Cedar Fair said "that on each occasion, maintenance teams followed safety procedures and brought passengers safely from the top of the tower to the ground. The company said no one was injured during any of the malfunctions and riders were slowly lowered to the ground.
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