VALENCIA, Calif. - All of the nearly two dozen people stranded when a roller coaster hit a tree branch at Southern California's Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park have been rescued from the ride.
Firefighters and park maintenance workers removed the last of the 22 people stuck on the Ninja coaster about three hours after the accident Monday night.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department says four people had minor injuries.
The front car was dislodged and dangling from the overhead tracks of the hanging coaster, and firefighters wearing harnesses were removing passengers one by one.
A roller coaster hit a tree branch at the Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park, dislodging the front car and leaving four people slightly injured and about two dozen others stranded about 20 feet in the air for hours, authorities said.
The Ninja coaster struck the branch about 5:30 p.m. and stopped, said Michael Pittman, a Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatch supervisor.
Televised news reports showed at least one of the cars that normally are suspended beneath the track dangling at an angle, derailed at the front.
Firefighters and park maintenance workers in harnesses could be seen removing the riders one by one from coaster cars. Others waited patiently, some talking with each other and others resting with their eyes occasionally closed. A few passengers remained on board nearly three hours after the accident. Twenty-two people were on board.
Pittman said four people on the ride received minor injuries, but they and other riders remained on the stalled coaster, stranded 20 to 30 feet in the air, more than an hour after the accident.
The Ninja coaster can hold up to 28 riders.
Statement from Six Flags Magic Mountain:
Earlier this evening, a tree branch fell on the track of the roller coaster, Ninja, obstructing the train. Park medical staff and local paramedics were immediately called to the scene. Of the 22 guests safely evacuated, two were transported to a local hospital for precautionary measures.
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.
From Magic Mountain's Website:
There’s a reason Ninja is known as “The Black Belt of Roller Coasters.” This stealth assassin is a suspended swinging roller coaster. There are only four of this kind in the entire U.S. and you’re about to ride one of them. You’re hanging from the track, which on this insane ride is above your head. Shoulder harnesses secure you in place but don’t expect to just sit in one place—you’re going to be swinging all over, a full 90 degrees each way.
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