Duke Energy officials: Equipment issues in park caused Kings Island power outage Saturday

MASON, Ohio -- Power is back on at Kings Island after an outage caused shutdowns at major rides throughout the Mason amusement park Saturday.

Duke Energy officials said the outage -- reported in "limited areas" at Kings Island at about 6:40 p.m. Saturday -- stemmed from equipment issues inside the park.

Park officials said guests were immediately unloaded from "the few rides that were affected," and major rides in the park were back in operation by 7:30 p.m.

Todd Robertson, who traveled from Louisville to Kings Island with his son to ride The Banshee, said his day was cut short by the outage.

"We got over to The Banshee and got in line, and then power went down, and there were a couple of cars… with people in them,” Robertson said. “They sat there for about 20 or 25 minutes or so, escorted them off there. I stood there thinking we'd get a chance, waited two hours and then bailed."

Mehak Arora and her friends said they got stuck on The Vertigo during the outage.

"We were going up and we just got stuck and like they didn't say anything to us and we were like, 'Why did it pause?' Arora said. "So we were just there for 15 to 20 minutes."

While power was back on throughout most of the park about an hour after the outage was reported, some of the rides remained nonoperational for more than two hours after that.

Twitter user Jack Wire ("@JackWire") said park officials told guests "it could take hours" to repair the problem.

"They did not let anyone else into line when it was not running," Wire told WCPO.

Austin Doolin, another Twitter user, said tests on The Banshee, the parks' high-profile new attraction, didn't begin until nearly 9:30 p.m. -- almost three hours after power first went out.

Doolin said the park provided free beverages to people waiting in line.

A park employee who wished not to be named told WCPO "people were crowding the midways, leaving the park... People are confused and angry."

Kings Island officials said the park planned to stay open later than usual due to the technical issues.

"Due to a loss of power in limited areas earlier tonight the park will be staying open past 10 p.m.," Kings Island tweeted.

They did not indicate how late they remained open beyond standard closing time.

Power was back for the entire park when Kings Island opened Sunday morning.

Saturday's outage comes days after the park suffered through three other ride-related issues.

On June 16, The Banshee -- billed as the longest inverted coaster in the world -- got stuck on the lift hill with riders on board. The ride opened this spring.

Two days earlier, fire crews responded to Kings Island's Flight of Fear roller coaster after smoke was detected coming from an electrical panel outside the building that houses the indoor roller coaster.

Thick smoke could be seen billowing over the warehouse where the roller coaster is housed.

Fire crews also responded earlier this month when the same coaster filled with smoke after a motor malfunctioned.

Eighteen people were exposed to thick smoke on June 2 -- two of which were treated but not hospitalized. No one was seriously hurt. Once the engine was turned off, the motor quit smoking, Mason firefighters said. The ride was shut down for a day until it was deemed safe.

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