Questions surround Ninja accident that left riders stranded

VALENCIA - Authorities today continued their investigation into an accident that left four people with minor injuries when a tree branch fell on the track of the Ninja roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
 
The accident, which occurred at 5:55 p.m. Monday, stranded 22 people about 30 feet above the ground and causing two people to be taken to a hospital "for precautionary measures," a park official said.
 
Two other people were treated at the scene, according to a county fire department dispatcher, who said all four people suffered minor injuries. Rescuers got all passengers off the ride in about three hours.
 
Some of the front cars were dangling as county search and rescue team members worked to secure the cars so they wouldn't plunge to the ground. Rescuers used lifts and ladders to bring the passengers down.
 
The clamp that held the first of the four cars came off entirely on one car, but stayed attached to another car that was still properly suspended. Rescuers secured the derailed car with chains. The car whose clamp broke would have fallen to the ground except for the connection with the other car.
 
"The safety of our guests and employees is our number one priority and as a precaution, the ride will remain closed until a thorough inspection of the area is complete," said Connie Lujan, a publicist for the park.
 
The Ninja takes riders on a track at speeds of 55 mph and riders hang from the car and are swung 90 degrees in each direction. The ride will remain closed while an inspection is completed. It was unclear how long that would take.

At a packed hearing today, Salgado apologized and said he still does not remember what transpired.

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