October 10th, 2013
07:11 AM ET

Riders at Florida Theme Park Stuck on Coaster for 2 Hours

When you're on a roller coaster, thrills and chills are to expected.

Standing still - for hours, high above the Earth? Not so much.

But that's the experience riders on the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit got Wednesday night, when the Universal Orlando attraction stalled due to what park spokesman Tom Schroder called a technical glitch.

The coaster did what it was supposed to do, when that happened around 7 p.m: It came to a stop about 140 feet above the ground, Schroder said. What the ride - which towers, at its highest point, 17 stories above the theme park - didn't do was promptly start again.

While the cars toward the front were at least closer to level, with a view over the hill, those farther behind were "sitting straight back with no way to move, because it's straight down," one park visitor, Ray Downs, told CNN affiliate WESH.

“Orlando fire rescue crews used an elevator to get to the peak of the drop-off, cranking the cars to the top of the arch almost two hours after the malfunction,” reports CNNs Pamela Brown.

Orlando Fire Dept. District Chief Ian Davis says, "Once we got it into a horizontal position then our guys can go ahead and put the victims in harnesses and then we're able to get them off the ride."

Brown says firefighters began carefully removing the riders, slowly guiding them down the stairs with flashlights, to the elevator platform, until all 12 passengers finally touched the ground at 9:30.

According to a park spokesperson, one female passenger was transported to the hospital for neck and back pain from this incident. No other injuries have been reported.

Brown says, “A Universal Studios spokesperson tells CNN that they are investigating what happened on the ride before it re-opens.”


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