Records show ride that broke at Dells had past violations

Video of cable snapping on Catapult ride goes viral

State inspection records show a ride that broke at Wisconsin Dells this week had been cited for past violations.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports “The Catapult” ride at Mount Olympus passed a recent safety inspection, but was cited in 2013 for failing to show documentation that its wire rope and hoist operations were inspected by another party.

In 2011, the ride’s owner, Casco Inc., was also cited for keeping poor records on inspections and maintenance work.

The ride broke Wednesday when a large cable snapped just seconds before a teen and a woman were going to be catapulted into the air. They weren’t hurt.

A phone call to one number associated with Casco went unanswered Friday. A message left at another number wasn’t immediately returned to The Associated Press.

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Mt. Olympus is forcing the operator of a catapult ride to cease operations and remove the ride.

The announcement on Friday came after a video that went viral across the state this week showing the Catapult’s cable snapping inside the Mt. Olympus amusement park in the Wisconsin Dells.

The ride was still open Thursday morning, but it has since been closed.

Dru Larson was filming the video of his 13-year-old son, Trevor, and Carrie Sueker, a mom also traveling from Minnesota to a Milwaukee basketball tournament, when the metal cable that was supposed to catapult them about 200 feet in the air at 60 mph suddenly snapped.

Dru and Nicole Larson said they were in disbelief.

“I was numb,” Nicole Larson said. “You saw this cable and this mental piece coming at your son, and you were expecting your son to go in the air and all of a sudden this was coming back at you.”

“You look and you think ‘Oh my gosh.’ And then you think about what could’ve happened. How it could’ve went the other way,” Dru Larson said.

After it was over, Dru Larson said the owner offered his family their money back and tokens for a different ride.

Mt. Olympus officials did not give a reason for shutting down the ride Thursday night after keeping it open most of the day.

“Mt. Olympus has contacted the owner of the Catapult ride that is owned and operated in our park. The ride is shut down at this time. And will not be reopened until a full investigation is complete,” Mt. Olympus director of safety Jason Hammond said.

Casco, Inc. actually owns the ride, but no one from the company has responded to requests for comment.

State documents show the ride was last inspected June 17, without comment.

State law does not require amusement parks to report ride problems unless someone is hurt. However, Department of Safety and Professional Services, which enforces standards to protect the design, construction and operation of Wisconsin amusement rides, said anyone having concerns about the safety or soundness of a ride should contact the department directly to report concerns.

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