24 People Rescued From Md. Six Flags Roller Coaster

LARGO, Md. (WJZ/AP)– The Joker’s Jinx roller coaster ride at Six Flags America broke down and left more than 20 people stuck on board the ride for hours.

As you can imagine for those on board the ride, the ordeal is something they won’t soon forget.

Prince George’s County Fire/EMS spokesman Mark Brady said on his Twitter account that the riders became stuck around 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Six Flags America in Largo, Maryland.

In a statement, Six Flags only said the ride did not complete its regular ride cycle.

“We see them and they’re still rocking and then they finally settled down and we’re like why aren’t they going down? Why aren’t they going down? And security rushed us out of there,” Carl Bannerman said.

Two of the youngest rides on board the roller coaster shared the harrowing experience.

Desidariaus and his sister Julia Valverde were the first rescued off the ride.

The 13-year-old boy initially thought it was all part of the ride.

“We just thought it was some sort of joke, because it was one of those rides, but when realized like 30 seconds later that it wasn’t a joke and we were actually stuck, that’s when we started freaking out,” he said.

His 15-year-old sister got on to try to overcome her fear of the ride. She is thankful not just for the first responders, but her brother as well.

“We were kinda holding our hands the whole time, it’s funny because the whole day we were like don’t touch me, don’t hug me and then we’re on this ride and we’re both panicking and we’re squeezing each other’s hands and we’re giving each other hugs cause we’re like it’s going to be OK, it’s going to be OK,” she said.

As for mom and dad, it was nightmare that couldn’t come to end fast enough.

“You see your kids up there you can’t go help your kids? That’s very difficult as a father to put your mind on because if I could have I would have climbed up there myself,” Javier Valverde said.

 

By the end there was really only one emotion left to feel.

“Relived, very relived,” Desidariaus said.

The Berwyn Heights volunteer fire department said in a tweet that the cars of Joker’s Jinx are 100 feet (30 meters) off the ground.

Two dozen passengers became stuck on the same ride in August 2014.

The Family says Six Flags did offer refunds and some passes to return to the park. There’s no word yet if the family plans to take them up on that offer.

The ride suffered a similar malfunction back in 2014.

Six Flags released the following statement:

Earlier this evening, Joker’s Jinx did not complete its regular ride cycle causing it to stop at a safe location on the track. The Prince George’s County Fire Department was assisted by the Anne Arundel County Fire Department in getting the riders safely off the ride, and this process was completed at 9:21 p.m.  The safety of our guests is our highest priority and the ride will be closed for a thorough inspection before re-opening.

 

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