Firefighters rescue 24 from a damaged roller coaster in Upper Marlboro

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WJLA/AP) – Rescuers pulled 24 stranded riders from the top of a 79-foot-tall roller coaster at Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro on Sunday after the ride halted on the tracks. Video from NewsChopper 7 showed firefighters using ladder trucks to slowly help passengers to safety, one by one from the train on the Joker’s Jinx coaster. Five hours after the rescue operation began, Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor said all passengers – 17 adults and seven children – were safe.

The riders were sitting upright, he said. A few had cramps, back pain and dehydration, but there were no major injuries.
Bashoor posted on Twitter a series of descriptions and photos, showing firefighters trying to help passengers to safety, as the rescue unfolded.
“Firefighters have reached the 1st car by tower bucket – each of 6 cars will be emptied slowly,” he wrote.
“Riders being strapped in place within each car, before cars passenger restraint can be released,” he said minutes later. “Then pulled 1 by 1 – 1st 2 people in bucket.”. According to Six Flags, the ride has a computerized safety system that can cause the ride to stop if there is a problem detected.

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