Stuck roller coaster riders rescued at Busch Gardens - WNCN: News, Weather

Stuck roller coaster riders rescued at Busch Gardens

Posted: Updated:
Tampa Fire Rescue ladder truck assists in retrieving passengers from Cheetah Hunt roller coaster (Courtesy @FireRescueTampa) Tampa Fire Rescue ladder truck assists in retrieving passengers from Cheetah Hunt roller coaster (Courtesy @FireRescueTampa)
Tampa Fire Rescue used a ladder truck to rescue people trapped on a ride. TFR photo Tampa Fire Rescue used a ladder truck to rescue people trapped on a ride. TFR photo
Tampa Fire Rescue used a ladder truck to rescue people trapped on a ride. TFR photo Tampa Fire Rescue used a ladder truck to rescue people trapped on a ride. TFR photo
  • Stuck roller coaster riders rescued at Busch GardensMore>>

  • New Busch coaster's first riders are dummies

    New Busch coaster's first riders are dummies

    The first full test-runs of Tampa Bay's newest roller coaster started this week. Now, engineers at Busch Gardens are sending water-filled dummies around the track of the Cheetah Hunt coaster before humans ride it for...
    The first full test-runs of Tampa Bay's newest roller coaster started this week. Now, engineers at Busch Gardens are sending water-filled dummies around the track of the Cheetah Hunt coaster before humans ride it for the...
  • The most insane new U.S. roller coasters

    The most insane new U.S. roller coasters

    Tuesday, July 8 2014 12:56 PM EDT2014-07-08 16:56:21 GMT
    The Banshee at King's Island in Mason, Ohio, is billed as the longest inverted coaster in the world. King's Island photoThe Banshee at King's Island in Mason, Ohio, is billed as the longest inverted coaster in the world. King's Island photo

    You'll flip head over heels for this summer's bumper crop of new roller coasters.

    You'll flip head over heels for this summer's bumper crop of new roller coasters.

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - Busch Gardens park staff believe the safety system on the Cheetah Hunt roller coaster caused it to come to a stop Wednesday, right in the middle of an afternoon rainstorm.  They are not sure why.

Tampa Fire Rescue received the call from the park at 4:01 Wednesday afternoon after a train filled with 16 passengers stopped just outside of the station where it started.

Rescue teams started removing the first passenger at 4:46. The last was off the coaster at 5:48.

"They were sitting on that ride and they were at an angle - probably 30 degrees - so just unbuckling them raised some anxiety for both the passengers and for our people," said Chief Emilio Salabarria, who is over Tampa Fire Rescue Special Operations.

Busch Gardens had a cherry picker onsite, and was able to get those guests ponchos.  However, the storms rolling through caused more concern than that.

"We knew there were lightning strikes nearby so we were monitoring the lightning. Every 5 minutes, we were getting reports from our dispatch," said Chief Salabarria. "The closest one got to about 3 miles. We really thought about shutting down operations, but we continued."

Salabarria said passengers on the ride ranged from teenagers up to about 70 years old.

"We were able to put a nice harness on them before we moved them and got them in the buckets," he said.

Jason Penny, Public Information Officer for Tampa Fire Rescue, said everyone on the train showed patience with rescuers.

"We have no reported injuries. No one was taken to the hospital," he said as Tampa Fire Rescue was leaving the park around 6:34 p.m. "Everyone came off. Once they got on the ground, they walk away under their own power."

Cheetah Hunt is Busch Gardens Tampa Bay's newest coaster. It opened in May 2011 and launches people from sitting at the station to 38 miles an hour.

Figuring out what went wrong with it might take some time. It's the longest coaster in the park at 4,400 feet. There are 283 sensors on the ride.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Nan Rich touts grassroots campaign for governor

    Nan Rich touts grassroots campaign for governor

    Monday, July 28 2014 1:56 AM EDT2014-07-28 05:56:46 GMT
    Campaign stops like the one in Pinellas County last week are how Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich is getting her message out.She doesn't have the money her opponents do. So while the two men who have already been governor are showing up in TV commercials, Rich has a different approach."I feel let the two of them go ahead and sling the mud at each other," Rich said. "I'm trying to stay above that."Richeven lumpsboth men together."On vouchers, I put them in exactly the same category,...
    Campaign stops like the one in Pinellas County last week are how Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich is getting her message out.She doesn't have the money her opponents do. So while the two men who have already been governor are showing up in TV commercials, Rich has a different approach."I feel let the two of them go ahead and sling the mud at each other," Rich said. "I'm trying to stay above that."Richeven lumpsboth men together."On vouchers, I put them in exactly the same category,...
  • USF Police investigates sex battery claim

    USF Police investigates sex battery claim

    Monday, July 28 2014 1:18 AM EDT2014-07-28 05:18:33 GMT
    The University of South Florida Police Department is investigating a report of a sexual battery on the Tampa campus. A woman told authorities she was the victim of a sexual battery that occurred at the Juniper-Poplar Residence Hall early Sunday morning. A resident student told police officers a tall, thin black man who she did not know sexually battered her in the residence hall. Police detectives identified a suspect, who told authorities he and the woman had...
    The University of South Florida Police Department is investigating a report of a sexual battery on the Tampa campus. A woman told authorities she was the victim of a sexual battery that occurred at the Juniper-Poplar Residence Hall early Sunday morning. A resident student told police officers a tall, thin black man who she did not know sexually battered her in the residence hall. Police detectives identified a suspect, who told authorities he and the woman had...
  • One dead, one injured on beach after plane crash

    One dead, one injured on beach after plane crash

    Monday, July 28 2014 12:52 AM EDT2014-07-28 04:52:47 GMT
    Man killed and his daughter was critical injured when they were hit by a plane making a crash landing on Caspersen Beach in Venice.Man killed and his daughter was critical injured when they were hit by a plane making a crash landing on Caspersen Beach in Venice.
    An emergency landing by a small plane on Caspersen Beach in Venice claimed the life of a man walking with his young daughter Sunday, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said.About 2:45 pm, Venice Airport contacted the sheriff's office regarding a small plane in distress that was unable to make it back to the airport, Sarasota County sheriff's spokeswoman Wendy Rose said in a news release. Instead the pilot was going to try to land on the beach.The 1972 Piper Cherokee airplane hit the man and...
    An emergency landing by a small plane on Caspersen Beach in Venice claimed the life of a man walking with his young daughter Sunday, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said.About 2:45 pm, Venice Airport contacted the sheriff's office regarding a small plane in distress that was unable to make it back to the airport, Sarasota County sheriff's spokeswoman Wendy Rose said in a news release. Instead the pilot was going to try to land on the beach.The 1972 Piper Cherokee airplane hit the man and...
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.