Saturday, September 13 2014 1:41 AM EDT2014-09-13 05:41:22 GMT
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UPPER MARLBORO, MD (WJZ/CBS) – There were tense moments at Six Flags America on Monday afternoon after a high speed roller coaster suddenly came to an abrupt stop, trapping dozens of people for hours.
There were 24 riders, 17 adults and seven children, stuck on the ride for more than six hours. It took the efforts of firefighters from Prince Georges County to get all of them down safely.
The dramatic turn of events took place on the Joker Jinx roller coaster after it came to a sudden and jolting stop. At around 2:30, several people boarded the ride with no idea that they would end up on the rider for more than the usual one and a half minutes.
"They are in a divot of the track so they are in a place where they can't really go forward or backward without power," Prince Georges County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor said. "At first, I think everybody was OK and then as the sun baked on them I am sure folks started getting more antsy about being up there."
Water, umbrellas and sun block were given to the trapped passengers as a ladder with a bucket was raised to bring the riders to safety.
Officials with Prince Georges County Fire Department say the riders were stuck about 80 feet in the air and even though there were no injuries reported, they will have to undergo a medical evaluation.
Six Flags representatives would not go on the camera about the incident, but in a written statement they said:
"The ride has a sophisticated, computerized safety system that can cause such ride stoppages. While we are not yet sure what caused the stoppage, the ride performed as it is designed to."
The Joker Jinx, according to Six Flags website, reaches speeds of 60 mph with four upside down turns.
After about five hours, all 24 passengers were safely brought down. It was a tedious operation, but one rescuers are prepared for.
"The good thing is we have a good training relationship; our technical rescue teams train with the amusement parks," Bashoor said.
None of the passengers or firefighters were injured. The ride was shut down for the remainder of the day.