North Carolina – According to media reports Saturday, a power outage at a North Carolina amusement park was caused when a transformer failed and caught fire.

A spokesperson with Duke Energy said officials still don’t know what caused the failure Thursday night at Carowinds, on the South Carolina line.

“Around 8 pm this evening, there was a power failure at Carowinds. As a result, there was a partial power outage in the park,” a statement read from the park at that time. “Several rides were stopped and safely evacuated. We are currently lowering WindSeeker to the ground. As always, the safety of our guests and associates is our highest priority.”

Paige Layne said Friday that first responders put out a fire and cleaned up several gallons of mineral oil, a nonflammable product that she said is used as a coolant in power transformers and that spilled during the failure. Workers are replacing the transformer and other equipment, a process Layne said could be wrapped up later Friday.


The outage stranded passengers on several rides Thursday evening, but no one was hurt.

According to WDAM, UNC-Charlotte student Josh Bryant said that he was stranded on the ride with his girlfriend and her family when the power went down.

“We have been stuck on the WindSeeker ride at Carowinds for over two hours now. We’re finally slowly making our way down at what it feels like a couple inches every 4 to 5 minutes,” Bryant wrote. He says his group was not happy with the way the park handled the emergency.

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“It is making us mad that they’re taking this long and had a power outage to begin with. I won’t be coming back to Carowinds for a long time and recommend others shouldn’t either.”

Layne says those rides were connected to different transformers at Carowinds and were affected when the transformer failure caused other power sources at the park to blink.

Not The First Time The Ride Has Had Problems

In July 2013, the ride malfunctioned, stranding 64 passengers for over an hour. And in June 2012, ride’s safety system activated, suspending 25 riders about 30 feet off the ground for nearly three hours.

The cause of the outage wasn’t known Thursday night but Carowinds confirmed that no guests were injured and expects the park to reopen Friday.

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