Sunday 26 October 2014

4 hurt in rollercoaster accident

Published 08/07/2014 | 07:27

Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park security staff in California beside the Ninja rollercoaster which hit a tree branch leaving about 20 people hanging 30 feet in the air (AP/Los Angeles Daily News)

A rollercoaster derailed at a California amusement park, slightly injuring four people and leaving 22 stranded about 20 feet in the air.

The Ninja ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain struck a tree branch shortly before 5.30pm local time yesterday and stopped, said Michael Pittman of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Televised news reports showed at least one of the cars that are normally suspended beneath a 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 rollercoaster cars. O thers waited patiently, some talking with each other and others resting with their eyes occasionally closed.

The last of the 22 people stuck on the rollercoaster were rescued about three hours after the accident.

Mr Pittman said four people on the ride received minor injuries, but they and other riders remained on the stalled rollercoaster after the accident.

The Ninja rollercoaster can hold up to 28 riders.

"As you shoot down the snake-like steel track you'll grip the hillsides and blast through the trees swiftly, slicing through the landscape. Ninja pivots with precision as you narrowly miss tagging land and water, whipping around at 55 miles per hour," according to the amusement park's website.

Six Flags Magic Mountain is in the Valencia area of Santa Clarita, about 25 miles north of Los Angeles.

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