Last updated: 12:12 PM ET, Sat July 04 2015

Orlando Observation Wheel Shuts Down Mid-Ride, All 66 Aboard Evacuated

Impacting Travel | Tom Bastek | July 04, 2015

Orlando Observation Wheel Shuts Down Mid-Ride, All 66 Aboard Evacuated

Photo courtesy of the Orlando Eye

What is 400 feet tall, been open less than three months and stranded 66 people yesterday after shutting down due to a technical problem? The answer would be the Orlando Eye, the 400 foot observation wheel located in Orlando, Florida.

According to an official statement tweeted by the attraction, this was the ride's computer acting normally. “At approximately 3:45 p.m., the operating systems for the Orlando Eye indicated a technical default with the system that monitors the wheel position of the Orlando Eye. As a safety precaution, the attraction is designed to automatically shut down if communication with this system is interrupted," the statement said.

The wheel was originally stopped for around 45 minutes until backup power could be restored and then the slow, tedious process of evacuating the guests began. Firefighters and elite rescue climbers were called to the scene, and helped staff get to the top of the cabins to manually release the doors.

At least one person was live tweeting the event:

The guests were stuck for approximately three hours and there were no injuries in the evacuation process. There have been issues with the Eye since its opening in May of 2015. After only a week after opening, the wheel had to be closed due to a technical malfunction, then the same thing happened a week later. 

There was no immediate indication when the attraction would reopen. Here is the full statement from the Orlando Eye:

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