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Six Flags Roller Coaster Accident Strands Nearly Two Dozen Riders

Jul 10, 2014

A roller coaster hit a tree branch at the Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park in the Los Angeles area, dislodging the front car, injuring four people and leaving nearly two dozen riders hanging 20 to 30 feet in the air for hours.

Two of the four people hurt Monday on the Ninja coaster were taken to the hospital as a precaution, but fire and park officials said none of the injuries were serious, ABC 13 Eyewitness News in Houston reports. Six Flags Magic Mountain is in Santa Clarita, about 25 miles north of Los Angeles.

The roller coaster hit the branch about 5:30 p.m. and stopped, according to Michael Pittman, a Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatch supervisor. It took nearly three hours to rescue all 22 of the riders. One of the injured riders, Jeremy Ead, told KCAL-TV, "We were going across one turn and all of a sudden a loud noise happened." Ead said he “ducked down just in time. A hard branch hit me in the head.” He suffered a gash to his forehead, according to Eyewitness News.

Firefighters and the park’s maintenance workers in harnesses removed the riders one by one. Firefighters had to reach them through a tangle of track and trees. All were alert and able to communicate with park staff during the evacuation process, Six Flags said in a statement. The park's website says the Ninja swoops through the trees to give riders a thrill. Sue Carpenter, a park spokeswoman said in a statement that the ride would remain shut down while the accident was investigated.

In July 2013, a woman who was ejected from a roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington died. The death was ruled an accident, but the woman’s family has sued both Six Flags and the German company that built the coaster's trains, according to ABC 13.

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