BUENA PARK, California. – Firefighters using ropes and harnesses safely reduced from 21 people from an amusement park ride stuck 100 feet in the air for more than six hours in the Southern California 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 Friday night.
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.
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?”
All three of Eddie Kim’s daughters were stuck on the ride while he waited below for them to be saved.
He told KTTV-TV that all three were fine, but “my little girl, 8 years old girl, she came down, and she cries.”
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. An operator was under the age of 21 on the trip and was in constant contact with the ground.
There was no immediate word on the cause of the failure. Knott’s said in a statement that the ride would remain closed until an investigation is completed.
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.