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24 Passengers Rescued After Six Flags Roller Coaster Stuck For Hours

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Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WJZ) — Tense moments at Six Flags after a high-speed roller coaster suddenly comes to an abrupt stop in the air, trapping dozens of passengers for hours.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on the dramatic efforts to rescue riders.

Twenty-four riders, 17 adults and seven children, were stuck on the ride for five hours. The good news–they are all safe.

A dramatic turn of events at Six Flags America after dozens of thrill-seekers found themselves stuck on the Joker’s Jinx roller coaster after it came to a sudden and jolting stop.

Around 2:30 p.m., several people, seven of them children, boarded the ride with no idea they would end up on the ride for more than the one-and-a-half minutes.

“They are in a divot of the track, so they are in a place where they can’t really go forward or backward without power,” said Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor.

“At first, I think everybody was OK. And then as the sun baked on them, I am sure folks started getting more antsy about being up there,” he continued.

Water, umbrellas and sunblock were given to the trapped passengers as a ladder with a bucket was raised to bring the riders to safety.

Officials with the Prince George’s County Fire Department say the riders were stuck about 79-feet in the air. Even though there were no injuries reported, they will have to undergo a medical evaluation.

Six Flags representatives would not go on camera about the incident, but in a written statement, they say: “The ride has a sophisticated, computerized safety system that can cause such ride stoppages. While we are not yet sure what caused the stoppage, the ride performed as it is designed to.”

The Joker’s Jinx, according to Six Flags’ website, reaches speeds of 60 miles-per-hour with four upside down turns.

After about five hours, all 24 passengers were safely brought down–a tedious operation, but one rescuers are prepared for.

“The good thing is we have a good training relationship our technical rescue teams train with the amusement parks,” Bashoor said.

None of the passengers or rescuers were injured.

The ride was shut down for the remainder of the day.

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