Dramatic Moments as Riders Suspended on Stalled Roller Coaster

PHOTO: Riders wait patiently as firefighters try to reach them through a tangle of track and trees, July 7, 2014.
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A roller coaster at a California amusement park hit a tree branch, dislodging the front car, leaving four people slightly injured and keeping nearly two dozen summer fun-seekers hanging 20 to 30 feet in the air for hours as day turned to night.

The incident happened at about 5:30 p.m. Monday on the Ninja coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain outside Los Angeles.

PHOTO: Firefighters and park maintenance workers in harnesses removed the stranded riders one by one.
KABC
PHOTO: Firefighters and park maintenance workers in harnesses removed the stranded riders one by one.

It took nearly three hours for emergency crews to rescue the 22 riders, said Michael Pittman, a Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatch supervisor.

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Firefighters and park maintenance workers in harnesses could be seen removing the riders one by one from coaster cars. The riders could be seen waiting patiently as firefighters tried to reach them through a tangle of track and trees, some talking with each other and others resting with their eyes occasionally closed.

PHOTO: Four people were injured in the incident, and nearly two dozen were left hanging for hours.
KABC
PHOTO: Four people were injured in the incident, and nearly two dozen were left hanging for hours.

Witness Aaron Heacock heard the stranded riders yelling. “It sounded like they were like panicking, because they didn't know what to do,” Heacock said.

The incident scared park-goers such as Sergio Mendoza. “I was really sketched out to get on any other rides,” Mendoza said.

PHOTO: The ride remains closed as Six Flags inspects the area.
KABC
PHOTO: The ride remains closed as Six Flags inspects the area.

Six Flags released a statement after the incident, writing, “The safety of our guests and employees is our number one priority and as a precaution, the ride will remain closed until a thorough inspection of the area is complete.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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