'Superman' Roller Coaster Grounded After Riders Stranded
The newest ride at a Six Flags amusement park in California remains closed today, less than 24 hours after it stranded a dozen riders for two hours during its weekend debut.
The Superman of movies may be able to rescue strangers from the heights of skyscrapers, but riders on his namesake ride at the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif., saw no man-in-tights when the ride suddenly stopped on Sunday around 2:30 p.m.
The 12 people on board the Superman Ultimate Flight roller coaster, which had just opened June 30, were left sitting 150 feet up in the air for two hours while crews on the ground tried to figure out how to rescue them, local ABC affiliate KGO reported.
The crews reportedly told the stranded passengers to shake back and forth in their seats to restart the ride, which is designed to hold 12 riders and can travel at speeds up to 62 mph, according to park officials. When that didn't work, mechanics manually shook a car on the ride loosein order to restart it.
Their actions backfired, literally, however, because the ride began moving backwards when it restarted. Despite being a bit unsettling for the passengers, that proved okay as the riders were able to exit the ride safely on their own and not in the more dramatic fashion - being lowered in a bucket by firefighters - that had been planned as a last resort.
No one was reported injured in the incident, which the park is continuing to investigate.
"Laughing, cracking jokes, looking at the view. I was trying to keep calm. At one point, I brought out my rosary and just said a prayer," passenger Tevin Tavares told KGO of how he passed the time.
Tavares and the 11 other passengers each received a free season pass to the amusement park and a fast pass that enables them to skip the lines at future visits, should they be brave enough to board another ride.
Six Flags officials said the ride will remain closed until further notice.