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Knott's WindSeeker shut down after passengers left hanging in air

September 20, 2012 |  9:51 am

Knott’s Berry Farm’s popular WindSeeker attraction remained closed Thursday after 20 passengers were left dangling 300 feet in the air after the thrill ride malfunctioned late Wednesday afternoon.

None of the passengers were injured, though some endured a wait of up to 3 1/2 hours before being lowered to the ground.

Thursday, maintenance workers tried to determine why the ride -- billed as giving passengers an exhilarating sense of “free flight” -- stopped functioning after a security system was activated.

It was the second time this month that the attraction has been shut down. It was shut down for three hours on Sept. 7 after similar problems.

Each ride at the Buena Park amusement destination is inspected daily, Knotts Berry Farm said in a statement. 

One of the rescued riders said there was an unexpected upside to the ordeal.

"The first half an hour was pretty rough on me. I have a fear of heights,” rider Donna Garrison told KABC-TV . “I was on it because my husband wanted to train me to get over my fear of heights.

“By the end,” she added, “I was."

The WindSeeker goes in a circular motion, taking passengers 300 feet into the air at 25 mph in two-person gondolas.

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-- Hailey Branson-Potts

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