Day of adventure turns into nightmare for Canadian amusement park riders

A day of adventure turned into a nightmare for amusement park riders in Canada on Saturday after a ride stopped suddenly, leaving passengers suspended upside down, 75 feet above the ground for almost half an hour.

Video footage from the incident shows riders dangling and hanging upside down in the air as they waited for help to arrive.

What happened?

In a statement to USA TODAY, the park said that both axes of the ride called the "Lumberjack" stopped moving at about 10:40 p.m. (local time). While they did not specify what caused the ride to stop abruptly, a spokesperson said that the maintenance team responded swiftly and brought all passengers to ground by 11:05 p.m.

"Guests were unloaded safely and assessed by First Aid staff before being released back into the park," the park said in the statement. "Two guests reported chest pain and were attended to at the park’s health center before being released without need for further medical attention."

"The safety of our guests is always our first priority," the park spokesperson's told USA TODAY adding that the ride was closed the next day on Sunday and that an investigation is ongoing.

Thrill seekers at Canada's Wonderland were left suspended mid-air after a ride called the "Lumberjack" malfunctioned.
Thrill seekers at Canada's Wonderland were left suspended mid-air after a ride called the "Lumberjack" malfunctioned.

One of the riders, Spencer Parkhouse, told CBC News that one person on the ride vomited. He said that the ride completed its cycle when it restarted before coming to a halt, causing further anxiety. While Parkhouse and his sister Mackenzie are doing alright, the incident was unsettling for them, and they are unsure if they'll ever ride a rollercoaster again.

The park did not reveal how many people were on the ride when it malfunctioned.

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The "Lumberjack" ride at Canada's Wonderland theme park in Vaughan, Ontario.
The "Lumberjack" ride at Canada's Wonderland theme park in Vaughan, Ontario.


Saturday's incident took place at Canada's Wonderland theme park in Vaughan, Ontario.

Introduced in 2018, the "Lumberjack," takes "guests for a thrilling ride on two swinging axe pendulums, propelling them into the sky with their feet dangling through 360-degree loops," according to the official description on the website. The ride, which has a thrill level of "aggressive," swings riders upside down both forward and backward.

"Riders will experience weightlessness and rapidly changing forces and direction," the description reads.

Guests are seated face-to-face to allow them to interact with one another and "watch the terror on their friends’ faces as they loop round and round, changing directions halfway through."

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Previous incidents

The past summer has experienced a spate of roller coaster malfunctions that have left riders stranded and wary.

Last month, in August, guests were forced to walk down a 200-plus-foot roller coaster in Cedar Point, Ohio after the ride experienced a mechanical issue.

Back in July, fairgoers in Crandon, Wisconsin, ended up in a terrifying predicament when a malfunction left riders, including seven children, stuck upside down for hours.

Just two days prior, a North Carolina amusement park closed one of its rollercoasters after guests noticed a crack in one of its support pillars and video showed pieces moving out of place as cars moved along the tracks.

Last year, a tragic accident on the Orlando FreeFall ride of ICON Park led to the death of a 14-year-old boy, after sensors on the ride's seats were improperly modified.

Saman Shafiq is a trending news reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at and follow her on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter @saman_shafiq7.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Video shows Canadian amusement park riders stuck upside down on ride