Passengers safely extracted from a somewhat terrifying height.

Mild panic broke out at approximately 1:20 p.m. on 23 March at the Arakawa Amusement Park in Arakawa Ward, Tokyo. While in operation, the “Family Coaster” — purported on the park’s website to be the “slowest coaster in Japan” — suddenly derailed, leaving the seven adults and twelve children suspended about five meters (16 feet) above the ground.

▼ Although billed as the “slowest”, the Family Coaster
can reach brisk jogging speeds at certain points

It was reported that a wheel on the first car had disengaged with the rail, causing the entire train to grind to a halt. A woman in her 30s and her six-year-old son who were on the ride at the time of the accident explained to Asahi Shimbun, “The coaster was moving so slowly, I didn’t notice it had stopped.”

However, things got kind of “scary” when park staff began trying to push the train and hitting it with hammers, all the while not explaining what had happened to the riders. Customers began to call the emergency police number 110 and rescue crews eventually arrived at the scene. After about 50 minutes, everyone was safely evacuated from the Family Coaster and no injuries were reported.

Netizens applauded the Family Coaster and celebrated the fact that it finally could officially be called “Japan’s slowest roller coaster.”

“Yup, can’t get much slower than 0 km/h. You did it Family Coaster!”
“Japan’s slowest roller coasters stopped? That’s good right?”
“The website says it can go as fast as 13.7 km/h (8.5 mph). It’s a miracle no one was hurt.”
“Why did they start hitting it with hammers? They should know people on Japan’s slowest roller coaster are easily frightened.”
“This is the most heartwarming story of a train derailment that I’ve ever heard.”

Those at the scene were less enthused by the irony, saying they want the park to thoroughly investigate the accident and find the exact cause of the malfunction so that this problem won’t happen again.

It should come as no surprise, however. In the mad race for profits, amusement parks rushed to create slower and slower rides without stopping to consider the consequences of these increasingly leisurely thrill rides. ‘Tis the eternal folly of man I suppose.

Source: Asahi Shimbun, Hachima Kiko
Top image, video: YouTube/Yasuhiro Suzuki