Xcelerator Accident at Knotts Berry FarmXcelerator Accident @ Knotts Berry Farm
In a pretty scary accident, a cable on the Xcelerator at Knotts Berry Farm snapped injuring two riders. Making the incident even worse for the Los Angeles area park, a video of the accident was posted on YouTube and it’s “gone viral”. Xcelerator is a launch coaster sending riders from 0 to 82 mph in 2.5 seconds. Immediately after the launch, the train ascends a 205′ hill. In the video, you can see the train launch and begin to climb until the cable snaps sending debris into the air. Then, the train falls backwards and back into the station.

Here’s the video of the accident:

The riders look scared and I don’t blame them. Luckily, they weren’t seriously hurt. It’s eerily similar to the Kentucky Kingdom incident that severed a girl’s feet back in 2007. That accident was caused by a cable coming loose on a ride by the same maker as Xcelerator, Intamin. Here’s the official statement from Knott’s Berry Farms:

Buena Park, Calif. (September 16, 2009) – Two guests were transported to the hospital today when a cable came loose from the Xcelerator roller coaster at Knott’s Berry Farm. The incident caused lacerations to one 12 year old guest who came in contact with the cable. A male adult guest complained of back pain. All other guests were asked for a statement and released.

More from the NBC Los Angeles News. Also, read about past roller coaster accidents and see more photos of Xcelerator.

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of this accident? Leave a comment below. Image courtesy of CoasterImage.

About The Author

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

15 Responses

  1. QB3

    That must really suck, going to a theme park to ride some rides and have fun, and all of a sudden your riding the best ride in the park, and your sent to the hospital do to a cable snapping in your face before you were even able to ride it. i definetley feel bad for them. just imagine if that happenend to you. i wonder what caused it.

  2. Rollercoaster Dude

    Sounds like the cable hit the kid's legs and hurt them bad. I don't think they should use cables to launch coasters. I think it's best to use magnets., like Stormrunner at Hershey. (it's good there was a video taken of it, or else no one would have been able to see how horrible this was). It looks like the kid is totally freaking out at the end, cause his legs were obviously bleeding from the cable. He probably went into 'shock.' That poor kid.

  3. Ryan

    poor kid. I think they should not use cables to launch coasters. Best to use magnets or some other kind of launch system.

  4. jjhobo

    Not to make light of the situation as it really shouldnt be happening but neither the child or his father looked too hurt and will probably get treated like royalty by the park from now on, they will at least get season passes for life, bet that numbs the pain abit.

    • ZaCloud

      No actually, the kid required multiple surgeries to repair the torn muscles and ligaments in the leg so he could even have a prayer of walking again. Luckily, they won an undisclosed amount of money in the lawsuit. Was lucky the kid didn't lose an eye too, given the debris.

  5. Andrew

    Thats terrible. The ride is extremely fun, would suck to have to go through that. I wonder if TTD or KK would have an even harsher break due to the cables higher speed

  6. The Coaster Critic

    I noticed that too Emma. As a parent that would be a nightmare to see my kid so freaked out. I'd have to stay as cool as possible too if for nothing else than to keep him calm.

    That's true jjhobo, but here's where something like emotional distress would come into play, especially with a kid. Plus, we don't know what it sounded like, looked like from their view, smelled like, etc. I don't know if just free lifetime admission is going to cover this one even if they weren't physically hurt that bad.

  7. I ride roller coaste

    First of all, Stormrunner doesn't use magnets to launch. It uses cables and is built by the same manufacturer as Xcelerator. The magnets are there to stop the train after the cycle. Magnetic propulsion is prohibitively expensive to use to launch a roller coaster. No type of propulsion at this time except for compressed air provides the rate of acceleration that is achieved using hydraulic catapults at this time and even compressed air is used to spool a large drum with a cable attached to it.

  8. CFC

    You know, this kind of thing makes you stop and think. You think something like this will ever happen to KD's I305, considering they're made by the same company.


    this wont ever happen on kds i305 as it is not a cable launch coaster.

    fact is this can happen on all launch coasters!

    it happened before on kingda ka, it could happen on top thrill, stealth, storm runner, rita any ride with the cable launch system.

    i think they reinforce the bottom of the trains so the cable cant penertrate the cars.

    The way i see it is that these rides put so much strain on the cable that the cable is bound to fail some time, hence why parks like ceder point, six flags, knotts, hersheys, thorpe park, alton towers are told to do rigourous checks every day.

    my only guess is that this is freak catistrophic failure of the cable or even more scary knotts doesnt do proper daily checks and maintainence on its rides.

    for this to be caught on film i hope knotts buck their ideas up.

    does anyone actually work on any of the intemin launch coasters at a park? maybe you could shed some light on the maintainence of these rides?

    • KK operator

      I used to operate Kingda Ka. Every night after the trains have been put onto the storage track, the maintenance team checks and makes and repairs any faults. I forget how often they go up to the top of the tower[I am assuming every day or two (they do it early in the morning before most employees get there)] Then we do several test runs with and without dummies, slowly adding the weight. It does a few rollbacks then. Finally before we are allowed to start we have to call the head person and make sure maintenance has checked and calibrated every system of the ride. This goes for the same with TTD and any other strata coaster. I am not sure about any other coaster though. If something does happen to go to any part of the ride that calls for replacement we close down the ride for like a few days and have it replaced or we have to get Intamin to send us replacements which takes weeks to months.

  10. Tosser

    Funny how Knotts' statement completely exonerates the park from any responsibility. In the case of the child they make it look like the child wilfully came in contact with the cable and the child's injuries were as a result of the child's own negligence. In the adult's case the way it's written as if he's a hypochondriac. The child's trip to ER also makes it sound like the ambulance ride was another attraction, where the child perhaps chose an ambulance as opposed a fire truck, police car…

    • Quil

      What, do you think Knott's is going to intentionaly tell the courts to completely bleed them dry?

  11. Amber

    OMG i feel real bad for those people i dont know how tht kid could handle dang strong kid lol i really hope they r fine today if i heard on the news today tht they died i would cry my eyes out they didn't deserve to be in tht terrible accident stupid retarded xcelerator


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