Riders stranded atop Sheikra roller coaster at Busch Gardens evacuated

Riders are stuck on the Sheikra roller coaster at Busch Gardens on Thursday afternoon. [@mafo via Fresco News]
Riders are stuck on the Sheikra roller coaster at Busch Gardens on Thursday afternoon. [@mafo via Fresco News]
Published May 12 2016
Updated May 12 2016

TAMPA — Sixty-four riders on the Sheikra roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay got a shock Thursday afternoon when the coaster stopped mid-ride, stranding them for more than two hours.

An electrical error caused the ride to stop about 3:45 p.m., though the exact cause remains unclear, spokeswoman Karen Varga-Sinka said in a statement. When the ride launched, "there was no indication of any operational issues."

One car stopped on the first lift, she said, and a second stopped on a flat part at the top of the ride, approaching the first drop.

Riders were escorted off the cars before taking an evacuation car down the coaster, she said. All passengers were evacuated by 6, and no injuries were reported.

"Busch Gardens Tampa Bay takes the safety of its guests and employees very seriously and will conduct a thorough review of the coaster and its systems before reopening the ride," Varga-Sinka said.

Several schools were visiting the park on an annual trip, 10News WTSP reports.

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