Universal Roller Coaster Stuck: 12 Stranded Rescued After 2 Hours

Image: Universal Roller Coaster Stuck: 12 Stranded Rescued After 2 Hours

Thursday, 10 Oct 2013 11:26 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Twelve people were stuck on a roller coaster at Universal Studios Florida for more than two hours Wednesday night.

The Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit ride, a 3,800 foot long, 167 foot high rollercoaster that travels at a top speed of 65 miles per hour, stopped functioning at approximately 7 p.m. EDT, trapping some 12 people inside one of its carriages.

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At the time of the malfunction, the carriage was in a vertical position 150 feet from the ground.

The 12 individuals remained in the vertical position until approximately 9:30 p.m. when they were finally freed, according to Universal spokesman Tom Schroder, the Associated Press reported.

"The safety system did exactly what it's supposed to do," Schroder said, adding that the reason the rescue took approximately two and a half hours to complete was because park officials wanted to take their time and do it safely.

"We spent a lot of that time talking to them (the passengers) and trying to make them as comfortable as we could," Schroder added.

Passengers in other carriages on the ride were removed almost immediately because of their position on the coaster, which reportedly allowed them to vacate the carriage and walk off the ride.

As for the dozen unlucky riders who were 150 feet from the ground, Orlando Fire Rescue was able to eventually safely remove them from the ride after the carriage was moved into a horizontal position.

No serious injuries were reported, according to Schroder. However, one woman who complained of neck pain was sent to an area hospital.

Orlando Fire Department District Chief Jeff Day told the Orlando Sentinel that a technical glitch forced the ride's safety features to lock in place.

What exactly caused that technical glitch remains under investigation by the park. Schroder was unable to say when the coaster would be put back into service.

"We're not going to reopen it until we understand what happened and make sure it can't happen again," Schroder said.

In August, the same coaster was closed when it came to a sudden stop, causing a woman to sustain a minor injury, the AP noted.

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