Roller Coaster Stalls Again; Riders Injured

By Jenna Johnson and Clarence Williams
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, October 7, 2007

Riders were stranded 10 stories in the air yesterday on a roller coaster at the Six Flags America amusement park in Maryland for the second time in a month. When they were brought down in a "hard landing," a hydraulic line broke, spraying some, a Prince George's County rescue official said.

About a dozen people were treated on the scene for what appeared to be minor neck and back aches, said the spokesman, Mark Brady. He said possible traces of the fluid were flushed off some riders, and two asked to go to a hospital for examination.

The cause of last night's incident, which occurred about 7 p.m. on the Two-Face: The Flip Side with 26 people aboard, could not be learned immediately.

The ride was just beginning when it locked up. When workers manually brought the passengers back to the starting point, the ride jolted and the hydraulic line broke.

A spokeswoman for the park in the Largo area said that the ride had been thoroughly inspected after last month's incident and did not present a safety threat.

"I can assure you that we do not open any of our rides unless they are safe," Karin Korpowski said.

Passengers on the roller coaster are supported in cars by harnesses. There is nothing beneath their feet.

"They couldn't get them out" when the ride stalled, said Meredith Waye, a witness. "They were just hanging there."

Waye said he and his son had ridden the roller coaster twice last night before the incident occurred.

Riders were also stalled at the top of the ride Sept. 8, after what was described as an unexplained malfunction triggered an automatic safety shutdown.

The ride was also stalled high above the ground July 2, 2003, stranding two dozen riders for about two hours.

Staff writer Martin Weil contributed to this report.

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