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Universal roller coaster reopens after riders are stuck for hours

The Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster at Universal Studios Orlando reopened on Thursday after it got stuck Wednesday night.
Posted By EVAN BLEIER - UPI.com   |   Oct. 10, 2013 at 2:44 PM   |   Comments

Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The Universal Studios Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster in Orlando reopened on Thursday after it took park officials more than two hours to free 12 riders who got stuck on the ride Wednesday night.

A glitch caused the park’s computers to go into safety mode which automatically stopped the ride. That was exactly what the ride was supposed to do in that situation; the problem was that it happened to be 140 feet above the ground at the time.

The roller coaster also couldn’t be started again, forcing a rescue.

"Being in that position, not knowing why you're in that position, you're going to be a little upset, but our guys were able to talk to them and calm them down," said District Chief Ian Davis of the Orlando Fire Department.

Universal engineers had to get the cars in a safe, locked position before the riders could be safely unloaded.

The roller coaster has had a history of starting trouble because of its difficulty getting started. Rip Ride Rockit was closed down in 2010, about a year after it first opened.

Universal Orlando said the ride was closed for maintenance, but the coaster's creator had warned of a manufacturing flaw just a week before.

"We are going to work to understand what happened tonight before we reopen the ride again," Schroder said after the coaster was stopped on Wednesday. Apparently park officials deemed that it was safe for Rip Ride Rockit to take off again.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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