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Tampa roller coaster riders: Rescue of 16 riders successful after scary ordeal

Busch Gardens' roller coaster
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Tampa roller coaster riders were rescued after the coaster malfunctioned. On Feb. 12, NewsOXY reported that 16 Busch Gardens thrill seekers got stuck on the "Cheetah Hunt" for four hours. Initially, maintenance workers tried to get the coaster to go back to the station, but their attempts failed and the Tampa fire department had to be called in. No injuries were reported despite the long, frightening ordeal.

"There’s been no indication that anybody is in any sort of distress or anything, other than having to sit there," Jason Penny, Tampa Fire Rescue spokesman, said in a statement (via NewsOXY).

The Tampa roller coaster riders rescue was successful but park officials have not reopened the ride. An investigation surrounding the malfunction is underway but up until this point, officials don't know what exactly happened. While some people don't mind roller coasters and many find them super fun, getting stuck on a ride for longer than a few minutes is nerve-racking. Of course everyone's safety is a top priority and, in this case, all of the riders were a-okay.

Busch Gardens describes the coaster with the following:

"Launch into the ultimate excitement of Cheetah Hunt®, our newest roller coaster experience that coaster enthusiasts can't stop talking about. This triple launch coaster carries riders high above the park, then races down along the ground through a rocky gorge. At a length of 4,400 feet, it is the park’s longest thrill ride attraction" (Busch Gardens website).

After the Tampa roller coaster riders were rescued, it's unknown if Busch Gardens credited the guests with complimentary passes (but usually that's how this sort of thing goes).

© Effie Orfanides 2014

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