Malfunctioning amusement park rides leaves dozens of terrified riders hanging upside down

Guests at an Oregon amusement park who turned out to have fun had their day spoiled when they were trapped hanging upside down due to a malfunctioning ride.

On Friday, emergency crews were dispatched to the Oaks Amusement Park in Portland where they rescued 28 people who were on board the AtmosFEAR, a ride described as an “extreme” pendulum, after it unexpectedly stopped in the “apex position” on the 360-degree setting, according to the Oregonian.

“Portland Fire is en route to Oaks Park for a ride that is stuck, with multiple riders. At this point there are no indications of injury. There is a PIO en route and we will update information until they arrive on, as needed,” Portland Fire and Rescue posted to its X account on Friday.

The first responders worked with park personnel to manually lower the ride, but were prepared to conduct a high angle rope rescue if necessary.

“At approximately 2:55 this afternoon, the AtmosFEAR ride stopped at the apex position while operating in the 360 degree setting, suspending 28 riders upside down,” the park said in a statement. “Oaks Park staff immediately initiated emergency procedures and called 911. Emergency responders arrived at approximately 3:20 PM. Within minutes of the first responders’ arrival, Oaks Park Maintenance returned the riders safely to the unloading position, where medics were waiting to assess the health and wellness of the riders.”

(Video: YouTube)

“The riders who were suspended were assessed by Portland Fire & Rescue and American Medical Response,” Oaks Park said. “One Rider with pre-existing medical conditions was transported to the hospital for further evaluation, out of an abundance of caution. All other riders were released by medics to go home with their families.”

Park patrons who were trapped on the ride described the harrowing experience.

“I thought I was going to die,” 17-year-old Daniel Allen said.

The young man was at Oak Park to celebrate his graduation from high school with his friend, 18-year-old Jordan Harding whom he assured there was no need to be afraid but “when they were stuck in the air, he said he started to cry, thinking of the people he would miss and things in life he wouldn’t get to do,” the Oregonian reported.

“We were just freaking out,” Harding said. “People were crying. They were just putting into the universe what they wanted to say for their last words.”

“Our showstopping extreme attraction is one of our most popular! Two rides in one, you can opt to take it over-the-top thrill of the 360° ride or choose the 180° ride for a pendulum experience,” the park says of the AtmosFEAR ride on its website.

(Video: YouTube)

“We wish to express our deepest appreciation to the first responders and our staff for taking prompt action, leading to a positive outcome today, and to the rest of the park guests who swiftly followed directions to vacate the park to make way for the emergency responders to attend to the situation,” the park said.

The park’s website currently states: “This attraction is closed until further notice.”

Chris Donaldson


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles