Inspections continue on Busch Gardens' Cheetah Hunt roller coast - WFLA News Channel 8

Inspections continue on Busch Gardens' Cheetah Hunt roller coaster

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16 people were stranded on the Cheetah Hunt roller coaster at Busch Gardens Wednesday. TFR photo 16 people were stranded on the Cheetah Hunt roller coaster at Busch Gardens Wednesday. TFR photo

Amusement ride experts at Busch Gardens are still looking for the cause of Wednesday's incident that stranded more than a dozen people 60 feet in the air in a pouring rain storm.

It happened on the park's newest roller coaster, Cheetah Hunt.

Other roller coasters at Busch Gardens are running today, but not the Cheetah Hunt. It is still shutdown a day after sixteen riders were stuck for an hour until rescuers could get them down.

It's still not clear why the ride stopped shortly after leaving the loading station.

Similar rides are checked out by state inspectors at places like the Florida State Fair and Strawberry Festival before anyone is allowed to get on.

"The manufacturer of each ride has specific set of rules how many feet you need how high and how far from the wiresand what kind of grounding you need," said Paul Davis who is the general manager of the Strawberry Festival.

While the rides are inspected before the fair or festival gates open, places that employ more than a thousand people, like Busch Gardens and Disney World, are allowed to have their rides inspected by in-house engineers.

But, they must provide quarterly reports to the state and they must have an annual state inspection.

With traveling rides, like those that pull in for events like the Strawberry Festival, inspections are more frequent by inspectors from the state agriculture department.

Davis added, "I can tell you after becoming the manager here and watching the inspections what the department of agriculture does I have never seen a more thorough going thru they look at every nut and bolt it is amazing what they do and they are good at what they do they have been doing it for years."

Despite the inspections, Davis says any mechanical device can break down.

"You can have a malfunction the most important thing is to have an emergency plan in place when that happens that is paramount, because it is is equipment something can always happen you need an emergency plan," Davis said.

Busch did have that plan, using its own bucket truck to get to the riders to hand them rain poncho's before firefighters arrived to get them down.

Late Thursday, a Busch Gardens representative said he doesn't know when the Cheetah Hunt will re-open.

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