Two dozen people were stuck 100 feet in the air on a Bowie, Maryland, Six Flags roller coaster for several hours on Thursday.
WRC-TV reported that the Joker’s Jinx roller coaster stalled at around 6 pm, leaving riders stranded at a 30-degree angle for more than three hours. Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department spokesman Mark Brady told The Washington Post that the youngest passenger was 9.
Passengers claimed they originally thought the coaster slowing down was planned.
“We thought it was going to start shooting off again,” Julia Valverde, 15, told WRC-TV. “After a good 30 seconds, the realization hit that no, we were really stuck.”
Firefighters, EMTs, and a high-angle rescue team (totaling 75 rescuers) got riders to safety. According to WTTG, firefighters employed fire trucks with ladder buckets to get the passengers off the malfunctioning ride and onto the ground.
Brady told WTOP that medics gave a clean bill of health to everyone who was stuck on Joker’s Jinx.
“It went as well as could be expected,” Brady told the station. “Everybody was in relatively good spirits considering what they went through. It’s an experience they’ll never forget.”
Six Flags America commented on the incident in a statement:
“The safety of our guests is our highest priority and the ride will be closed for a thorough inspection before re-opening.”
The park’s website boasts that Joker’s Jinx goes from 0 to 60 miles per hour in three seconds. Lasting 1 minute and 15 seconds, the ride has the following tagline: “The Joker is laughing with you, not at you.”
This isn’t the first time this ride in particular fell short. WTOP pointed out that Joker’s Jinx stalled in August 2014, leaving 24 parkgoers stranded for approximately five hours.
A representative for the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation told WRC-TV that the coaster was found to have no violations during an inspection in March.
[Featured Image: Mark Brady/Prince George’s County Fire Department]