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Investigation into Cause of Knott’s Berry Farm Sky Ride After 21 Trapped in Midair

Knott's accidents
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BUENA PARK, California (January 11, 2017) — Fortunately for the 21 people who were trapped 120 feet in the air inside the Sky Cabin ride at Knott’s Berry Farm on Dec. 30, 2016, there was a safe return to the ground. The bad news for them was it was roughly seven hours after they boarded the amusement park ride.

The theme park was unable to get the get their guests down by themselves so they called upon the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) for assistance. It took the OCFA team roughly five hours to do the job and everyone was out safety by 9:54 p.m.

The passengers, which included women and children, were taken down by rappelling over the side one by one using a line and a harness. Their rescuers had to first climb to the top of the 225-foot tower and then rappel down to the cabin where the passengers and ride operator were trapped.

This was supposed to be a thrill, but frankly it ended up being quite a traumatic experience for those involved.

Cal/OSHA Investigation

The ride, which was built in 1976, is closed until an investigation into the cause is completed. Cal/OSHA, a state occupational safety and health agency, is heading up the state’s investigation and it’s expected to take two to three months. It’s the second time the ride has stuck. The first incident was in 2008 when 24 people were trapped up in the air after the ride lost power on its ascent upwards. An electrical relay was the cause of the loss of power, but no one was hurt.

Knott’s Berry Farm’s Sky Ride, however, is not the only theme park to have a tower ride get stuck.

The 400-foot-tall Sky Tower ride in Orlando Florida, which was built in 1973, had a similar incident involving 50 passengers who got stuck for three hours in its observation pod in Dec. 2015.

Help for Families


The staff at Johnson Attorneys Group provides individuals and families with legal support at the worst possible time in their lives. We understand that an accident at an amusement park can cause pain and suffering as well as financial distress. When you are ready to move forward with a claim, our compassionate attorneys are here to help you obtain full compensation for all your losses. We advise you there are time limits to filing a claim and you should wait before you speak to the negligent party’s insurance company until after you have spoken to an attorney. Johnson Attorneys Group offers a free consultation at 800-235-6801. We also work on a contingency-fee basis so you will pay nothing unless a settlement is obtained.

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