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Students Were Stuck on the New Joker Ride at Six Flags For Hours During Storm

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“We were holding hands, and we prayed a lot. 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,” Christian Chaney told KVUE. Chaney, along with seven other teens celebrating their senior trip with an overnight party at Six Flags Over Texas, were trapped on the new Joker ride for hours after their car stopped 12-stories in the air with the riders on their backs. A storm with strong winds blew through, but the teens say they didn’t hear from park officials for at least 20 minutes while they sat in the terrifying weather.

WFAA reports that the students were rescued by the Arlington Fire Department. It took three and a half hours to get everyone down safely at around 3:30 a.m. Footage of the teens maneuvering their way through the ride to descend down the steep firefighter ladder to reach the ground will make one’s stomach lurch at the idea of attempting the feat during a wind storm. Luckily, each of the roller coaster riders were able-bodied and kept a cool head while making it down to safety.

Six Flags officials say the strong headwinds were the cause of the ride stopping, and the Joker is open once again.