BUENA PARK, California. – Firefighters were slowly decrease from the 18 people of an amusement park ride stuck 100 feet in the air for more than five hours Friday in Southern California’s Knott’s Berry Farm, the officials said.
The riders, both children and adults, were used for the firefighters and hugging them tightly as they were reduced one-for-one from the Sky Cabin.
A girl who appeared to be about 10 years old, can be seen smiling as she fell, with her turquoise Converse sneakers dangling high above the crowd of spectators.
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Firefighters briefly pulled a large cherry-picker crane to the ride, but decided not to use it and go back to the use of the ropes, a process can take many hours before all are safely on the ground.
The tourists and fun-seekers on the slow ride are most likely hungry, claustrophobic and badly in need of a bathroom, but Orange County Fire authorities and park officials have both said that they are not in danger.
“We are on vacation from Oregon,” rider Gave Javage told KNBC-TV via mobile phone. “There are nine in our group. “My son and his cousin are down. They do not choose to go on the ride. Good choice, eh?”
The Sky Cab is a slow moving attraction where riders in a circular tram travel a large cylinder, which firefighters had to climb to start to save the passengers. The ride is fully enclosed and is more like you are in a room than on a ride. The Knott’s website calls it “mild” and says it is intended to be “a 360 degree panoramic view of Orange County, Catalina Island and the LA basin.”
It was 100 feet high when it stopped at about 2 pm, Knott’s said in a statement. Park mechanics made several attempts to call the fire brigade.
A park employee on board and is communicating via the walkie-talkie with the mechanics and the firefighters in the afternoon and night.
County Fire Authority Capt. Larry Kurtz said the ride is limited and the riders are not exposed to the elements, so the time is on the firefighters ‘ side.
There was no immediate word on the cause of the failure.
In a much more frightening incident at Knott’s, a group of 20 people in 2013 were stuck 300 feet high on a ride that they are exposed with their legs dangling off.