Riders stuck 130 feet in the air on malfunctioning ride at Knott’s Berry Farm


A Knott’s Berry Farm ride that malfunctioned trapped 21 riders, including several children, 130 feet in the air for more than six hours Friday before they were rescued, authorities said.

The malfunction occurred on the popular Sky Cabin ride, a slow-moving attraction that lifts riders up to 180 feet for a 360-degree view of Buena Park and the surrounding area, authorities said.

None of the riders were hurt or were in danger, said Capt. Larry Kurtz, a spokesman for the Orange County Fire Authority.


Knott’s Berry Farm said the ride malfunctioned about 2 p.m. After several failed attempts to fix it, officials contacted the fire department.

About 36 firefighters responded to the scene about 5 p.m. and immediately began working with ride operators to lower the passenger cab. “Time is on our side,” Kurtz said as rescue operations got underway.

But emergency crews failed to restart the ride, whose circular cabin climbs a large tower. About 7:30 p.m., firefighters used a safety harness to begin lowering passengers to the ground one by one, as onlookers below clapped and cheered.

“It sounds scary, but these guys, they train for this all the time,” Kurtz told Eyewitness News. “We have very, very strong ropes that have 9,000 pounds of breaking strength on them.”

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8:58 p.m.: This story has been updated with new information from the fire department.

This story was originally posted at 6 p.m.