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Thirty rescued after park ride mishap

PORTLAND (AP) – Emergency crews in Oregon, US rescued 30 people Friday after they were stuck for about half an hour dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

Portland Fire and Rescue said on the social platform X that firefighters worked with engineers at Oaks Park to manually lower the ride, but crews had been preparing to conduct a high-angle ropes rescue if necessary. 

All riders were being evacuated and medically evaluated, and there were no reports of injuries.

The ride, called AtmosFEAR, operates like a pendulum, with the capacity to swing riders completely upside down.

Chris Ryan and his wife, from nearby Gresham, were at the park for his birthday. He told The Associated Press in a Facebook message that they had just been planning to ride AtmosFEAR when they saw it was stuck and heard people saying, 

“Oh my God, they are upside down.” They decided to walk away because of “how scary the situation was,” he said. 

They eventually got on the Ferris wheel and heard a loudspeaker announcement that the park was closed and that people should evacuate.

The park did not immediately return a voicemail left after business hours seeking comment.

Oaks Park first opened in 1905. 

Its website says it offers a “uniquely Portland blend of modern thrills and turn-of-the-century charm on a midway that has delighted generations of Northwesterners.”

In this photo provided by Oregon Amusement Ride-Rescue and posted on their X account, first responders arrive at Oaks Park for a ride that is stuck with multiple riders in Portland, Ore., Friday, June 14. PHOTO: AP