L.A. County Fire received a call about the incident at the Valencia theme park about 5:55 p.m., when a car derailed on the Ninja ride after it came into contact with a tree.
“A large pine tree fell across the top of the Ninja roller coaster ride,” the L.A. County Fire Inspector Rick Flores said. “There are minor injuries.”
SKY9′s Kevin Takumi reports a clamp on the No. 1 car connecting the ride to the rail broke off at the impact point. The car could be seen dangling 20-30 feet above ground, held onto the ride by a rear clamp attached to the No. 2 car.
Fire officials say four passengers were hospitalized with minor injuries. Eighteen others were treated and released at the scene.
CBS2/KCAL9′s Rachel Kim spoke with an injured rider who struck his head on the tree.
“We were going across one turn and all of a sudden a loud noise happened,” Jeremy Ead said. “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,” Ead added, pointing to a gash on his forehead.
“It took about 45 minutes to get any kind of response. One woman’s child was on there for an hour, and no one was able to tell her whatever was going on. We just want to get out of here,” he said.
Flores said 22 passengers were on the ride. Many of them were stranded for nearly three hours. The rescued riders were given food and water after they were removed from the attraction.
Rescuers used lifts and ladders to help the passengers get down. All riders had been rescued by approximately 8:35 p.m.
The Ninja takes riders on a track at speeds of 55 mph and riders hang from the car and are swung 90 degrees in each direction.