22 Riders Rescued After Roller Coaster Gets Stuck

Firefighters rescued 22 people who were trapped on a roller coaster at an amusement park in Phoenix, Arizona. Fire crews were called to Castles N' Coasters just before 6 p.m. on Saturday (May 15) night when the Desert Storm roller coaster came to a halt about 20 feet in the air as it was going around a horizontal loop in the track.

Firefighters from both the Phoenix and Glendale fire departments responded and had to use special equipment to extract the trapped riders. According to KPHO, they used a high-angle belay system and strapped the riders into a harness before lowering them to the ground.

12-year-old Joseph Almarez described what it was like to be trapped on the coaster as the firefighters worked to free him.

"I almost fell," he told KPHO. "It was scary because we didn't go down one ladder. We had to jump from ladder to ladder."

His 13-year-old sister Christina said it was a scary experience but said she would be willing to ride the coaster again once it reopens.

"I was on the edge tilting, so there was nothing underneath me," she said. "It was pretty fun but scary."

The rescue operation lasted several hours, and nobody was injured.

Investigators are trying to determine why the ride got stuck.

Photo: Glendale Fire Department