13 people rescued after dangling for hours on Australian rollercoaster

Not an ideal Sunday outing

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Fire and rescue crews had to free 13 people trapped on a rollercoaster in Australia on Sunday, with six people left dangling 50 metres in the air for nearly four hours.

The Green Lantern ride malfunctioned shortly before 1pm on Sunday, with a spokesperson from Movie World theme park stating that the incident occurred due to "an issue with a wheel".

Firefighters arrived at the scene at 1:10pm. One of the affected carts had seven people on board, but the passengers were able to be safely led down some stairs to the ground.

However, the other six individuals trapped on another cart had stopped in a more difficult position, making it harder for the passengers to be rescued. It took three and a half hours for the six people to safely make it back to land.

"They were going really, really fast," one onlooker told reporters about the rollercoaster ride shortly before the incident. "They seemed like they had been going faster than usual."

The six people who were stuck for nearly hours were taken to Gold Coast University Hospital and were reported to be in a stable condition.

Another witness, Amanda Bude, told 612 ABC Brisbane: "It was complete silence at that point in time. It looked like everyone was just stunned and frozen up the top there. You could see a little girl and they were all just gripping on tight to the harnesses.

"It was pretty frightening to watch. I could see where the wheel had fallen off."

Greg Yong, Movie World's general manager, said that safety checks took place on all rides twice a day and that the incident would be investigated by not just Movie World staff, but the ride's manufacturer and external parties such as Queensland Workplace Health and Safety.

He added that the Green Lantern ride would not be opened until the "thorough" investigation had taken place.

The Green Lantern claims to have the "steepest drop in the Southern Hemisphere" and can reach speeds of 66 kilometres an hour.