NC rollercoaster riders stranded midair for half an hour: 'Big deal when you’re just facing the ground'

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North Carolina rollercoaster riders shared the terrifying moments they were left stranded midair for about a half hour last week. 

Carowinds, an amusement straddling the North Carolina-South Carolina state line adjacent to Charlotte, North Carolina, said riders on its Flying Cobras rollercoaster were stuck for about 30 minutes Friday.  

“On Friday, April 29, Flying Cobras, located in County Fair at Carowinds, had an unexpected ride stoppage on the lift.,’ park officials told Fox 46. “The park’s maintenance team responded quickly, and at no time were guests in danger. All guests were returned safely to the station and unloaded within 30 minutes. The safety and security of our guests and associates is Carowinds’ top priority.”

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According to the amusement park’s website, the Flying Cobra coaster sends riders through a 360-degree loop as well as a cobra roll at speeds up to 50 mph until flying through the ride again backwards. Riders are turned upside down a total of six times on the 125-foot tall, high speed looping coaster.

This file photo shows a generic rollercoaster at an amusement park. 

This file photo shows a generic rollercoaster at an amusement park. 
(iStock)

The website says rides are inspected by the North Carolina and South Carolina Departments of Labor. Flying Cobras was designed by the Dutch amusement park manufacturer Vekoma. 

“I personally watched my tears fall from the sky,” one rider, Brandon Allen, told Queen City News. “It was terrifying.”

“We were told anywhere between 35 to 45 minutes,” Allen said. “Which may not be major, but it’s a big deal when you’re just facing the ground completely.  There were parents trying to talk to their children screaming, ‘it’s going to be okay!'” 

This comes about a month after Electro Spin, a different ride at the same park, also got stuck. 

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“It seems like this is happening so often now,” Allen said. “A few weeks ago, it was another one. It’s almost like it continues to happen– and that’s what is so scary about it.”

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