A Florida roller coaster on Wednesday night left 12 riders stranded for nearly 3 hours. The incident occurred on the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. The roller coaster, located at Universal Studios, is billed as the tallest ride in Florida.
The roller coaster takes riders 167 feet up and then zooms them around a 3,800 foot track with speeds that reach upwards of 65 miles per hour.
Tom Schroder, a Universal Orlando spokesman, says the coaster’s computer recognized a glitch and went into safety mode to protect riders. When the glitch was noticed the ride went into an abrupt stop mode.
While most of the roller coasters cars were rescued, one group of 12 riders were stuck in a vertical position on the roller coaster.
According to Schroder, “The safety system did exactly what it’s supposed to do. The reason the rescue took so long is because park officials wanted to take their time and do it safely…we spent a lot of that time talking to them and trying to make them as comfortable as we could.”
Workers from the Orlando Fire Department moved the Florida roller coaster car into a horizontal position. Each passenger was placed in a harness to ensure their safety before being released from the coaster.
All of the rides participates were finally removed by 9:45PM local time. The passengers were taken to ground level in an elevator.
There were no physical injuries but one female rider was taken to the hospital because of “mental exhaustion.”
The Florida roller coaster has failed before, on August 1, 2013 the coaster also came to an abrupt start and one ride sustained minor injuries. After that failure the park shut down the ride for two days.
Schroder has promised that Universal Studios has shut down the ride until the exact cause of the system issues can be resolved.