Stunning video published on social media shows the moment when a teenage girl dropped from a stopped ride at an upstate New York amusement park and fell into a crowd of park visitors and employees who had gathered below her to catch her.
The unidentified 14-year-old girl from Greenwood, Delaware, survived the ordeal and was taken to Albany Medical Center in stable condition with no serious injuries, according to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.
On Monday night, Warren County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Steven Stockdale said that she was released, and that her name will be released when the investigation is complete.
"This is insane! We were just about to leave The Great Escape a Six Flags theme park, when I hear screams of a girl calling for help! People and security started to gasp and gather not knowing what to do. The ride continued to dangle her for 2-3 minutes before it stopped. Once it stopped she continued to hang for about 3-4 minutes screaming!" wrote Facebook user Crystal Nadareski in a post accompanying the video.
The accident happened on the Sky Ride at a Six Flags amusement park about 55 miles north of Albany.
Six Flags released a statement saying that New York state's Department of Labor has cleared the ride for operation but that no one may use it until an internal review of the episode is conducted.
"As the safety of our guests and team members is our top priority and out of an abundance of caution, the ride will remain closed while we conduct a thorough internal review," the company wrote in a statement.
Matthew Howard Sr. told the Associated Press that he was leaving the amusement park Saturday evening when he heard screams and then saw the girl dangling from the two-person pod. He and his daughter positioned themselves below her as security approached.
I said, "It's OK! It's OK to let go. I'll catch you, honey," Howard told the AP.
Howard and his daughter, Leeann Winchell, caught the brunt of the girl's fall and helped carry her toward emergency workers who later arrived at the scene. Howard was treated for minor back injuries afterward.
"I couldn't let that little girl die," he told the AP. "No one wants to put himself underneath a body like that, but I couldn't stand by and watch."