U.S.

24 Stranded Riders Rescued From Six Flags Roller Coaster

A roller coaster broke down in Maryland on Sunday, trapping its 24 passengers 79 feet in the air before firefighters could come to the rescue.

24 Stranded Riders Rescued From Six Flags Roller Coaster
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Twenty-four Maryland thrill seekers climbed into a rollercoaster on Sunday afternoon and ended up getting a little more than they bargained for.

The rollercoaster's name is Joker's Jinx, and its website warns patrons to prepare for a "blazing fast launch" β€‹and a "one-of-a-kind maximum twist experience."

But the rollercoaster is also, well, jinxed, and at the top of one of its twists, it decided to prove it

"Stuck on a rollercoaster, suspended, as the ride basically got stuck on the track."

That's right, stuck — 79 feet in the air, posing problems for the firefighters trying to get them down. (Video via ABC) 

"They’ve all been talked to, we know they’re all okay right now, but firefighters actually had to take down fences and some fence posts to position that ladder."

The Washington Post reports the ride became stuck around 2:30 in the afternoon, and was reached by firefighters around 4p.m. By 7:30pm, all the passengers had been rescued. 

A Six Flags employee said the ride is programmed to press the brakes when it senses danger, and "performed as it is designed to." 

And in some ways, the passengers were lucky — the ride has about 4 "full inversions", any of which could have left the passengers hanging upside down.

Then again it was a hot and very sunny day at the park, leading rescue workers to get creative.

​"So I know that the rescue crews, you know, before, were giving them water and some umbrellas to help give them some shade." 

These accidents also might be more common than you think: From 2001 to 2011 the National Safety Council counted 14,000 amusement park injuries, along with 52 deaths between 1990 and 2004.  

Inquisitr put it another way: In 2013, you were 6 times more likely to die from a roller coaster than a shark attack. 

The reason for so many accidents? One safety expert tells Discovery he blames a successful lobbying campaign to remove amusement parks from federal oversight. Seventeen states lack an agency in charge of inspections. 

As of 7:30 p.m., everyone trapped on the Joker's Jinx was on the ground, with no injuries reported. 

This video includes images from Stuart Newsom/CC BY-NC 2.0​