Four people were injured and dozens left hanging 20 feet in the air when the Ninja roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park in California hit a tree branch and derailed the front car from its tracks.
The coaster incident happened about 5:30 p.m. Monday and it took emergency responders nearly three hours to get all 22 riders off the Ninja, Michael Pittman, a Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatch supervisor, told The Associated Press
Park officials confirmed that emergency crews took two of the four people hurt to a hospital as a precaution, but all the injuries were minor.
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"We were going across one turn and all of a sudden a loud noise happened," one of the injured riders, Jeremy Ead, told KCAL-TV
. "I ducked down just in time. A hard branch hit me in the head. I was there bleeding from my head, which was a little worse than this," he said, pointing to a gash in his forehead.
The roller coaster travels at 55 mph and riders hang from the cars and are pulled 90 degrees in each direction. The ride, opened in 1988, is approximately 2,700 feet long, reported KNBC-TV
"The safety of our guests and employees is our number one priority and as a precaution, the ride will remain closed until a thorough inspection of the area is complete," a publicist said in a statement.
Six Flags Magic Mountain is one of California's most heavily-attended amusement parks, located in the Valencia area of Santa Clarita, about 25 miles north of Los Angeles.
The Magic Mountain incident comes nearly a year after an incident at another Six Flags park in Arlington, Texas, where a woman was ejected from a roller coaster and killed, according to the AP.
The death was ruled an accident, but the woman's family has sued both Six Flags and a German roller coaster maker
The Texas insurance department received dozens of rider injury reports from Six Flags since last summer. From those complaints, 15 lawsuits had been filed against Six Flags in Tarrant County over the past five years, but only two involved thrill rides like roller coasters.
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