Coney Island Amusement Park Evacuated After Report of Swaying Astrotower

By Brynn Gingras
|  Wednesday, Jul 3, 2013  |  Updated 6:28 AM CDT
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Coney Island's Luna Park amusement park was evacuated Tuesday evening after reports the Astrotower was swaying, and will remain closed until testing is complete and the tower is deemed stable. Brynn Gingras reports.

NBC 4 New York

Coney Island's Luna Park amusement park was evacuated Tuesday evening after reports the Astrotower was swaying, and will remain closed until testing is complete and the tower is deemed stable. Brynn Gingras reports.

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Coney Island's Luna Park amusement park was evacuated Tuesday evening after reports the Astrotower was swaying, and will remain closed until testing is complete and the tower is deemed stable. 

Emergency officials were investigating possible structural instability at the iconic tower Tuesday afternoon.  The Cyclone, Wonder Wheel and Surf Avenue between West 10th and West 12th streets were also closed. 

Officials from the Office of Emergency Management and FDNY were investigating what caused the tower to wobble. Winds, at 5 to 10 mph Tuesday, were not believed to be a factor.

"I've seen it swaying before, but it looks like it's swaying more now," said one visitor.

Jose Morales recalled a similar scare two years ago when the tower was "really shaking."

"They came and tightened it up, and it stopped," he said. 

Nicole Purmal, the marketing manager at Luna Park, said the Astrotower is affectionately called "the swaying tower" and normally, visitors don't have anything to be worried about. But one building official said the "level of sway in the tower was more extreme today than in the recent past." 

Officials were investigating and said they should be able to finish their tests by noon Wednesday, but until then, the park will remain closed. Officials will also announce after testing whether Luna Park will be open for the July Fourth holiday. 

Astrotower, which was installed in 1964, has not been in use since 2010. It once offered visors 360-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean and Brooklyn. It sits across the street from the Coney Island Cyclone rollercoaster.

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