Around two dozen riders got more terror than they bargained for yesterday when the Ninja ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain hit a fallen tree branch, derailing the first car and leaving them suspended about 40 feet from the ground. The Los Angeles County fire department says the riders were left in a "precarious position," but they were safely evacuated after being trapped for around three hours, the Los Angeles Times reports. Four people were hospitalized with minor injuries. Firefighters had to climb through the thick foliage surrounding the ride.
"We were going across one turn and all of a sudden a loud noise happened," a rider who hit his head on the tree tells CBS LA. "I ducked down just in time. A hard branch hit me in the head," says the rider, who complains that it took 45 minutes before there was any response from park authorities. The park says the ride will remain closed until a thorough inspection of the area is complete. "As you shoot down the snake-like steel track you'll grip the hillsides and blast through the trees swiftly, slicing through the landscape. Ninja pivots with precision as you narrowly miss tagging land and water, whipping around at 55 miles per hour," says the description of the ride on the park's website. Last week, dozens of people were stranded atop a revolving tower at SeaWorld San Diego. (Read more Six Flags Magic Mountain stories.)