An Oklahoma City theme park roller coaster malfunctioned on Wednesday leaving seven children and one adult stranded on the ride in the sweltering heat. The eight passengers were riding the Silver Bullet roller coaster at Frontier City when the ride experienced an electrical failure which caused the train to stop before making it over a large hill. The passengers were left 100 feet in the air as rescue efforts were organized below.
KOCO reports that on Wednesday the Silver Bullet roller coaster experienced a loss of power which resulted in a series of safety measure to be initiated. The train was stalled on a large hill which left the passengers stranded 100 feet in the air as temperatures outside reached 91 degrees. The passengers, seven of which were children, remained buckled into their safety restraints as a rescue effort was organized below. The children were reported to be between the ages of 7 and 13, along with a single adult.
The Frontier City amusement park officials noted that the Silver Bullet’s safety features worked as planned and that the park’s response plan was also quickly put into place which ensured the children were brought to safety quickly and efficiently with the help of the local fire department.
“The safety procedure in place for that ride worked, the breaking system worked. The response plan was quickly.”
Fox 5 notes that the Oklahoma Fire Department was called to the scene and a series of brave firefighters worked their way up to the stranded victims. It was reported that all power to the roller coaster was cut and the train was secured to the track with chains before any children were removed from the ride. After securing the train, firefighters secured each child with a safety harness and helped lift them over each of the roller coaster cars. Once the rider made it to the end of the series of train cars, they were escorted down a large flight of stairs to safety below.
— KFOR (@kfor) June 29, 2016
The ride was shut down for the remainder of the day as safety officials inspected the ride for possible violations. However, it was reported by Fox 23 that the Silver Bullet had passed a Department of Labor inspection just two months ago. During the last inspection, the safety inspector made a note that brakes should be “adjusted as needed,” but found no faults in the system. The Labor Commissioner, Melissa Houston, pointed out that the park is safe and that safety measures worked as planned. She also noted that you have a higher chance of getting hit by lightening than you do being injured on an amusement park ride.
— Kylen Mills FOX 25 (@KylenMills) June 29, 2016
Oklahoma is one of 30 states that regulates amusement park rides with the Department of Labor performing inspections on all equipment. Frontier City has a fantastic record with the department and the Silver Bullet roller coaster was no exception. The Silver Bullet had only had two “recorded issues” noted between 2014 and 2016. One note from 2015 involved the replacement of a “missing pin” on a service track and missing R retainers on base beams. These issues were reportedly resolved, and during the April 2016 inspection the park was told to “adjust brakes as needed.”
— WEAR ABC 3 (@weartv) June 30, 2016
Though the children rescued from the Silver Bullet were likely frightened as they scaled down the steep hill, no injuries were reported and Frontier City officials seem pleased with the quick response and safety protocols that took place during the incident. The ride remained closed for the remainder of Wednesday and was eventually reopened on Thursday as the ride was deemed safe.
[Image via Twitter/Lmsauceda]