Last updated: 02:23 PM ET, Mon March 16 2015

Riders Stranded Mid-Air For Hours On Faulty Australian Roller Coaster

Destination & Tourism | Michael Isenbek | March 16, 2015

Riders Stranded Mid-Air For Hours On Faulty Australian Roller Coaster

Photo courtesy of ABC News AU/Daniel Purnell

Sunday, two carts came to a halt mid-ride on the Green Lantern Coaster, located at Movie World, a theme park located on Queensland, Australia’s Gold Coast. The malfunction required the rescue of 13 stranded riders, according to ABC News AU.

An investigation is underway, to be completed by everyone from government agencies to the ride’s manufacturer, but the cause of the sudden stoppage appears to be a dislodged wheel. The seven individuals in one cart were rescued quickly, but because of its position on the track, the other car, loaded with six people, required about 3 hours to completely evacuate. Those passengers were taken to Gold Coast University Hospital in a stable condition.

Witness Amanda Buden was right outside the Green Lantern ride with her three children when the ride came to a stop.

"It was complete silence at that point in time. It looked like everyone was just stunned and frozen up the top there," she told 612 ABC Brisbane.

"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."

Bude said park staff moved visitors away from the entrance to the coaster.

"We were told not to take pictures and to please move away. The staff were just more worried about making sure nobody else could get hurt. [They were worried about] the possibility of anything else going on."

Movie World general manager Greg Young pointed out that safety checks occur twice daily - first by a engineer and then by the ride control staff.

"What's important is we train with Queensland Fire and Rescue on these kinds of evacuations on a regular basis, he said.

"Thankfully they're not a common occurrence but when they do happen, we like to be sure that we're very well drilled in how to handle them."

The park opened as normal today.

"We're not going to open [the Green Lantern Coaster] until we go through a very thorough investigation. Obviously we want answers and quick as everyone else does but its important we take our time," he said.

The Movie World website said the rollercoaster, which opened in Dec. 2011, has the "steepest drop in the Southern Hemisphere."

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