Branch derails rollercoaster: 22 trapped in midair for 3 hours

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A derailed roller coaster in California left its 22 riders hanging in midair for nearly three hours on Monday.

Four people suffered minor injuries as the front car of the Ninja ride in Six Flags Magical Mountain amusement park went off the track after hitting a tree branch, reported The Guardian. 

"We were going across one turn and all of a sudden a loud noise happened," said Mr Jeremy Ead, one of the injured riders.

"I ducked down just in time. A hard branch hit me in the head."

"I was there bleeding from my head, which was a little worse than this," he added, pointing to a gash in his forehead.

Difficult rescue

Firefighters and park maintenance workers in harnesses were seen rescuing the riders one by one from coaster cars, which were among thick foliage. 

"It's in a very difficult place to get to," said fireman Fred Flores. 

The Ninja will remain closed while inspectors survey the track and the area, said parks spokesman Sue Carpenter, reported Los Angeles Times. 

"The safety of our guests and employees is our number one priority," she said. 

The park's website says the Ninja ride is "The Black Belt of Roller Coasters".

"Ninja pivots with precision as you narrowly miss tagging land and water, whipping around at 55 miles per hour (88.5km per hour)."

Watch a video of the ride here

Sources: The Guardian, Los Angeles Times

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