Caught on Cam: Cable Snaps on Sling Shot Ride in Wisconsin Dells

Two people on a Wisconsin Dells amusement ride narrowly escaped injury after a large cable snapped just inches away from them, moments before they were set to be catapulted high into the air. 

The failure happened on a sling shot ride at Mount Olympus in Wisconsin Dells Wednesday. The two weren't injured by the heavy cable.

Thirteen-year-old Trevor Larson and family friend, Carrie Sueker, were in a metal basket, waiting to be shot into the air. Sueker says the cable could have hit them or their friends and family nearby.

After opening on Thursday, "The Catapult" ride was shut down later for inspection. 

NBC 5 Investigates requested inspection reports for The Catapult from Wisconsin’s Department of Safety and Professional Services. State records refer to the ride as “Ultimate Rush”, owned by Casco Inc., based in Nashotah, Wisc.

Although the ride was found to have passed its most recent inspection on June 19 of this year, NBC5 Investigates found it was cited in 2013 for having “no documentation of wire rope/hoist inspections,” as required by state code. It was also cited that year because the ride’s operators could not provide any proof that they had the required certification for CPR and First Aid training.

NBC5 Investigates also found a report of a previous incident concerning the Catapult/Ultimate Rush ride. It occurred Aug. 10, 2013 – the same year the ride was cited for the wire rope/hoist violation. A report filed with the state says that while a rider was in the air, one of the four cords on the ride came apart and brushed against her legs, creating a welt. It also says a second rider had redness on one leg and one hand.

In 2011, Ultimate Rush received several citations for poor maintenance of records, and state inspectors ordered them to “document and maintain records for daily and periodic inspections, any maintenance performed on [the] ride and training for any operator who is responsible for [the] ride inspection.

NBC5 Investigates found 11 other reports of incidents and accidents happening at the Mt. Olympus park over the past five years. The most serious occurred in March of 2014, when a report states a male suffered lacerations and a head injury when he fell from the park’s Twister Coaster. An investigation determined that components of the lap bar system were defective and/or worn, resulting in a malfunction.

Other Mt. Olympus incident reports found by NBC5 Investigates include:

  • Oct. 18, 2010: A man hit his head on the ground at the entrance to the Hay Maze and went unconscious.
  • July 15, 2012: A cart with two riders hit the gate of the ride “Big Chief Go-Karts,” as an attendant opened the gate to remove a rider.
  • Aug. 1, 2012: While descending from the rock wall “Climb N Dangle Dropa Rock,” a man landed on the ground feet first and felt pain in his feet.
  • Aug. 20, 2011: A woman was aboard the Hades rollercoaster when she felt a bump at the first hill then felt immediate pain.
  • March 24, 2013: A girl was riding a tea cup indoor ride when her head was hit by another cup when in motion.
  • July 10, 2013: A woman pointed out a hazard near the exit of a boat ride. She stated riders had to step over cords and a screwdriver sticking out of the socket of one of the cords.
  • Aug. 24, 2013: During a Hades 360 Rollercoaster ride, a woman felt back pain.
  • May 28, 2014: A rider was driving on “Poseidon’s Go-Kart Track” and was injured making contact with the inside curb of the track.
  • May 27, 2014: As the Samba Balloons ride was coming to a stop, a rider jumped over the side of the basket and fell to the ground.
  • June 3, 2014: A resort visitor was injured after being pinned between two go-karts. The report states resort employees do not restrict access to the track when go-karts are in motion. It also states a resort visitor was injured after being pinned in the access gate for the Hades 360 rollercoaster “because of [a] ride operator error."
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