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Upside down on rollercoaster

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Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people over the weekend who were trapped upside down on a ride at Oaks Amusement Park in Portland.

The riders were stuck for about half an hour on the AtmosFEAR ride, which operates like a pendulum, swinging riders completely upside down.

Portland Fire and Rescue collaborated with engineers at the century-old amusement park to manually lower the ride. The crews were also ready to conduct a high-angle ropes rescue if necessary. All the riders were evacuated and medically evaluated, with no injuries reported.

One rider with a pre-existing medical condition was taken to a hospital for further evaluation as a precaution, according to a statement from Oaks Amusement Park. All other passengers were released by medics.

Chris Ryan, a visitor from nearby Gresham, recounted how he and his wife had planned to ride AtmosFEAR but decided against it after seeing it stuck. “Oh my God, they are upside down,” they heard people say. The couple opted for the Ferris wheel instead and later heard a loudspeaker announcement that the park was closed and that everyone should evacuate.

The ride malfunction occurred around 25 minutes before emergency responders arrived. Park maintenance workers managed to return the ride to its unloading position shortly after first responders got to the scene.

The amusement park confirmed there were 28 riders on the ride, contradicting an earlier statement from Portland Fire that about 30 people were on board. The ride, which has been in operation since 2021, will remain closed until further notice. Oaks Park will work with the ride’s manufacturer and state inspectors to determine the cause of the stoppage.

Oaks Amusement Park expressed gratitude to the first responders and staff for their prompt action, which led to a positive outcome. The park also thanked the guests who evacuated swiftly to allow emergency responders to handle the situation.

Oaks Park, which first opened in 1905, is known for its blend of modern thrills and historic charm, attracting generations of visitors from the Northwest.

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