If you are not a roller coaster fan, then after reading this, you might never go on a roller coaster again. This didn’t happen at some local carnival but at a Six freakin’ Flags!!
The incident occurred at The Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita on a suspended roller coaster called The Ninja. The $6 Million dollar ride was built in 1988 and is the only suspended coaster on the West Coast. As you can see from the photo, the cars swing wildly out, up to 90 degrees in each direction, as the coaster reaches speeds up to 55 mph.
The coaster was custom built to weave in and out of the landscape which includes a multitude of trees. This is where the trouble begin.
The coaster struck a tree branch which has recently been reported to have fallen on the track. This derailed one of the cars and stopped the coaster literally in its tracks. The derailed car was left dangling at a crazy angle and the remaining passengers were stranded 20 to 30 feet in the air for more than an 2 hours while fire and safety crews went to work.
Rescuers brought in heavy equipment to assist in the efforts. The firefighters were dispatched just before 6 PM and the last rider was pulled off the ride just after sunset.
There were no serious injuries. Minor injuries were reported for those in the derailed car, 2 of which went to the hospital to get checked out.
Park officials released a statement, announcing that the ride will remain closed while being investigated,
“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,”
In case you were wondering just how close the ride gets to the trees – here is a POV video that gives you a front car passenger perspective. I might have to rethink my amusement park plans for the summer.