North Carolina inspectors responsible for checking rides at Carowinds kept records on every problem they discovered during their annual inspections at the amusement park that straddles both Carolinas near Charlotte, N.C.
Their counterparts in South Carolina simply marked the rides in their state as satisfactory, adding no details to their reports about what repairs, if any, were needed to certify the rides as safe, according to records reviewed by The Herald of Rock Hill.
The details provided in the North Carolina records allows state inspectors to easily compare information from different amusement parks, said Tommy Petty, deputy bureau chief for the elevator and amusement device bureau of the N.C. Department of Labor.
"If we see a pattern of problems, we can get in touch with the manufacturer of the ride," Petty said.
Some industry officials think minor details that are quickly corrected don't need to show up on inspection reports. But National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials spokesman Jim Barber said those details have helped amusement park operators in lawsuit by showing that rides where people were hurt were properly maintained.