Park-goers received a little more excitement than they bargained for yesterday afternoon when a popular roller coaster, Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Ninja (nicknamed the Black Belt of Roller Coasters), derailed at the popular southern California theme park. Ninja, known for its high speed twists and turns through the tree-tops in its section of the park (topping out at 55mph), came into contact with a branch that had fallen from one of its trees while it was flying along the track and its lead-car became derailed causing the ride to shut down shortly before 6pm.
The Los Angeles Country Fire Dept. was swifty dispatched to the park to rescue the 22 passengers on-board who had become stranded due to the malfunction, and were hanging roughly 40 feet above the ground inside the cars. In spite of the dangerous situation, and the difficulty in reaching the park patrons, only four minor injuries were reported, and only two people were transported to local hospitals after the rescue as a precautionary measure only. By 8:30pm, fast given the ride’s location and the difficulties in reaching the car in the treetops, all the ride’s patrons had been secured and removed to safety.
In spite of the situation, and the danger it exposes which can be inherent in theme park attractions like this, the actual numbers of injuries while riding on attractions still remains very low, and it appears the issue was not with the attraction itself, but with the nature surrounding it, and these poor coaster hounds were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. People are statistically still much more likely to suffer from nausea, dizziness and sometimes fainting than malfunctions with the attractions themselves. Until the attraction undergoes maintenance and inspection, it will be closed for the foreseeable future according to Six Flags Park officials.