The scene was Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita, near Los Angeles. Roller coaster enthusiasts aboard the Ninja ride, a suspended coaster, had hands high in the air, screaming. Suddenly the front car struck a tree branch and was dislodged from the tracks. The entire coaster stopped, and everyone on board was stuck for hours as rescuers worked to get them down.
Jeremy Eads was riding the coaster when the accident happened. "We were going across one turn and all of a sudden a loud noise happened," Eads said. "I ducked down just in time. A hard branch hit me in the head. I was there bleeding from my head."
Eads and three others were injured, but 25 others were stuck on the coaster for hours. The accident happened at about 5:30 p.m. Rescuers took nearly three hours to get everyone to safety. Riders were about 20 feet above ground while rescuers worked.
— 7NEWS Denver Channel (@DenverChannel) July 8, 2014
The accident calls to mind another in February at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida, when 16 people became stuck on a coaster's first hill and had to be rescued.
Another in Florida, back in October, left 12 passengers stuck for three hours at a height of about 150 feet.
And finally, in July of last year, a woman fell to her death from a roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington.
Nonetheless, roller coaster enthusiasts insist that accidents, and particularly fatalities, are rare and should not dissuade one from enjoying the rides.
Image via YouTube