Thrill-seekers' five-hour rollercoaster nightmare

By Kirstin Buick
11 August 2014

It looks as if the Joker's Jinx rollercoaster might be exactly that. The rollercoaster at Six Flags theme park in Maryland came to screeching halt without warning yesterday, leaving 24 passengers stranded almost 23 metres above the ground.

It took fightfighters five hours to rescue the two dozen passengers, who had individually secured into harnesses before being lowered to the ground. While they waited, rescue workers hauled up food, water and sunscreen to the victims, ABC News reports, as temperatures reached a scorching 29°C.

"Only a twisted mind could devise twists like these," the Six Flags website says of the Joker's Jinx, which reaches up to 97 km per hour and features a “spaghetti bowl” design that sees the twisting tracks "draped and piled" on top of themselves.

“It was not very hard to keep the victims calm,” Owen Hardy, one of the firefighters, told the Washington Post. “There really were no frantic individuals and all seemed to be in good spirits. I think they were just relieved to see us come to their aid.”

The ride's computerised safety system kicks in to halt the rollercoaster when it detects a fault, them park officials said.

"While we are not yet sure what caused the stoppage, the ride performed as it is designed to," Six Flags said in a statement.

"The ride will remain closed until the park completes a thorough investigation and both the staff and ride manufacturer have determined the ride is safe for operation."

Sources: abcnews.go.com, washingtonpost.com

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