12 people rescued from roller coaster after nearly 3 hours

By Desiree Stennett

Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Fla. — Twelve people were stuck for nearly three hours Wednesday night on a roller coaster that stopped vertically during a ride at Universal Orlando, fire officials say.

Rescue teams from the Orlando Fire Department were called to the theme park after several people reported that the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster had malfunctioned and about a dozen people were trapped on the ride.

All were rescued by about 9:45 p.m. ET, fire officials said, and one person was taken to the hospital with neck pain.

Jeff Day, district chief at the Orlando Fire Department, said a technical glitch forced the ride’s safety features to lock in place.

According to dispatchers, the theme park guests on the ride were not in any danger but had been stuck since about 7 p.m.

The ride, billed as Orlando’s tallest roller coaster at 17 stories high, was closed for two days in August after a woman was hurt when the car she was riding in stopped on Aug. 1. The woman suffered minor injuries.

At the time, the ride, which can reach speeds as high as 65 mph, was closed as safety crews inspected it.

It has not yet been determined what caused the ride to stop Wednesday night. Universal Orlando officials were not answering questions.

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