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Photos: Riders Get Stranded On Roller Coaster After Pine Tree Derails Magic Mountain's 'Ninja'
A pine tree fell on the tracks of "Ninja" at Magic Mountain this evening, derailing the roller coaster. Four riders were injured, and nearly two dozen riders were left hanging while rescue crews worked to free them.
The roller coaster at Six Flags in Valencia hit the tree this evening just before 6 p.m. Photos from TV stations show that one car that left the tracks and was dangling precariously nearly 30 feet in the air. Los Angeles County Fire Department responded and it wasn't until after 8:35 p.m. that all 22 riders stuck on the roller coaster were safely on the ground, according to CBS Los Angeles.
The rescue was a complicated effort that required an urban search and rescue crew with specialized extrication and clamping tools, the Los Angeles Times reports. They had to work amid thick foliage to stabilize the cars before evacuating the ride.
The riders were talking to firefighters and were in surprisingly good spirits during the hours-long ordeal. Four people had minor injuries, and two were taken to the hospital as a precaution.
Part of the thrill of "Ninja" is that the cars are suspended, and you swing in all directions while hitting speeds of up to 55 mph. Magic Mountain calls the ride that opened in 1988 "The Black Belt of Roller Coasters."
We doubt you'd want to hop on Ninja tomorrow, but the park said in a statement that they're shutting the ride down to inspect it, "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."
Hopefully, they'll hire a tree trimmer, too.