An honest to goodness roller coaster nightmare happened last night at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Los Angeles County, California.
It all happened as a result of a tree branch falling on the roller coaster’s track, according to CNN. The freak incident caused the front car of the Ninja roller coaster to derail, jumping the track and dangling over the edge at a forty-five degree angle. The front cars of the roller coaster – clutching perilously to the ones behind it – pointed directly at the ground.
As the 22 passengers aboard the roller coaster screamed in genuine terror and pain, rescue crews from the Los Angeles County Fire Department rushed to the scene just before 6:00 pm.
Witness Brandy Chambers, a guest at the park, told KTLA news what she saw:
“We were riding on the Jet Stream when we saw the Ninja go into the trees. It was a lot of leaf noise and then cracking noises… and a lot of screaming.”
In the end, four passengers on the roller coaster were injured. Rick Flores, L.A. County Fire Inspector, said the passengers in the first car of the roller coaster were the ones who took the brunt of the injuries; one of them complained of neck pain and another suffered a knee injury.
The Six Flags website describes the Ninja roller coaster as the “The Black Belt of Roller Coasters.”
“Your whole body will swing out to the sides as you take winding snake-like turns at nearly 4G,” the website says about the roller coaster. “Ninja pivots with precision as you narrowly miss tagging land and water, whipping around at 55 miles per hour.”
Actual rescue evacuations from the roller coaster started just before 8 pm. Magic Mountain Spokeswoman Sue Carpenter said that all the passengers on the roller coaster were alert and communicating with park personnel during the evacuation process.
This isn’t the first time Six Flags has had to deal with a roller coaster nightmare. Only a year ago, Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington shut down the Texas Giant roller coaster following an incident when a woman was thrown from the roller coaster and fell to her death, according to CNN.
According to the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, more than 92,000 children were injured on roller coasters and in amusement park-related incidents between 1990 and 2010 – an average of almost 4,000 injuries per year.
Six Flags Spokeswoman Sue Carpenter said the Ninja roller coaster will remain closed until a thorough inspection can be completed.
[Image Via KTLA]