Upper Marlboro, MD August 10, 2014 – Firefighters in Maryland had a busy Sunday afternoon when a roller coaster at Six Flags America became stuck over 70 ft. off the ground with 24 people onboard.
Police were called to the park around 2:30pm this afternoon responding to reports that four six-person cars were stranded. Spokespeople for Six Flags said the ride safety system worked as expected, though the reason for the stoppage has not yet been determined. The ride has been inspected daily since it opened in 1999, Six Flags spokeswoman Debbie Evans said.
The initial technical rescue assignment consisted of units from PGFD stations: 843 (Bowie), 806 (St. Joseph), 846 (Kentland #2) and 814 (Berwyn Heights), however mutual aid units from Andrew’s Airforce Base and Fairfax County were eventually called in as well.
On scene technical rescue call 6-Flags America. 24 patrons stuck near the top of the Jokers Jinx pic.twitter.com/dFEvRG3p6S
— Marc Bashoor (@PGFD_Chief) August 10, 2014
Firefighters initially had trouble reaching the trapped occupants with their tower-ladders due to the location and height of the roller coaster cars. To solve this problem ladder companies with 105ft tower-ladders were called in from other jurisdictions to assist.
All 24 occupants were able to make it down safely, and were evaluated by EMS units. Chief Bashoor did say that the department had practiced rescues on the Joker’s Jinx in the past.
PGFD Fire Chief Marc Bashoor later said that none of the occupants were transported to the hospital: