Six Flags Magic Mountain is inspecting it Ninja roller coaster after a tree branch derailed the lead car Monday, stranding nearly two dozen people, four of whom sustained minor injuries, officials said.
The 22 people on the ride were safely evacuated around 8:30 p.m. after being stuck for nearly three hours. Two of the riders were "transported to a local hospital for precautionary measures," Magic Mountain spokeswoman Sue Carpenter said.
Fire Inspector Fred Flores told The Times that the incident occurred when the coaster came upon a branch that was lying across the tracks, derailing the first car.
Brandy Chambers told KTLA-TV she was on a nearby ride when she "saw the Ninja go into the trees."
“It was a lot of leaf noise and then cracking noises … and a lot of screaming," she said.
A specialized urban search-and-rescue team was called in to assist evacuating the riders, who were suspended about 40 feet above the ground. Stranded passengers could be seen talking to firefighters who were working to free them.
The Ninja will remain closed while inspectors survey the track and the area, Carpenter said.
"The safety of our guests and employees is our No. 1 priority," she said.
Magic Mountain bills the Ninja ride, introduced in 1988, as "The Black Belt of Roller Coasters," racing along a twisting track at 55 mph.
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