The Joker was back Sunday at Six Flags Over Texas.
The theme park’s newest ride reopened after an inspection by engineers, just hours after safety sensors stopped it early Saturday because of headwinds ahead of a thunderstorm.
Eight young passengers were struck on the ride for several hours before firefighters rescued them.
“The safety of our guests is our highest priority,” officials with Six Flags said in a prepared statement on Sunday. “All of our rides are designed with safety sensors that monitor the ride’s movement. In this particular instance, the severe headwinds ahead of the storm caused the ride to stop at a safe location on the track.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
“We were holding hands, and we prayed a lot,” Christian Chaney, a Durant, Okla., High School senior who was on the ride with a friend, told WFAA-TV Saturday.
Chaney told the station she was still shaken after being stuck 12 stories high.
“My friend and I thought we were going to die, just because there was lightning, and we didn’t think anyone knew we were up there,” Chaney said.
No passengers were injured, but they complained of being cold. All eight people were rescued by 3:40 a.m.
The park was open from 11 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Saturday for high school senior night, according to a Facebook post.
Chaney said the rain started and winds picked up as soon as the ride took off. She thinks the theme park should never have allowed the group on the ride with storms fast approaching.
Firefighters had to cut a hole in a chain-link fence to get a ladder truck near the ride for the rescue, Chaney said.
“We had a harness on our bodies, and we had to stand up in our seats on the ride and try to crawl over and maneuver over in our seats on these bars that were in between us, and I don’t know how I did it, honestly,” said Chaney, of the rescue.
“We had to climb down a firefighter ladder all the way down the ride. The ladder was rocking up and down from the wind,” Chaney said.
Chaney told WFAA she will never get on another roller coaster.
This report contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.