Video shows prone passengers awaiting help in hours-long rescue operation.

In Japan, roller coasters and other amusement park thrill rides are called “zekkyou mashiin,” literally “scream machines.” It’s actually a pretty apt description for attractions such as Universal Studios Japan’s Jurassic Park-themed The Flying Dinosaur, as evidenced by the audio in its promotional video below.

But on May 1, those screams probably shifted from a mix of frightened excitement to just plain fear. At roughly 4:45 in the afternoon, one of the ride’s safety sensors activated, automatically bringing to a halt two cars that were traveling its course. Unfortunately, as you can see in the video, The Flying Dinosaur’s gimmick is that you ride it in the prone position, and so when the cars stopped, the riders found themselves suspended in the air, with nothing between them and the ground below.

Even worse, the emergency stop occurred when the cars were making their way to the highest point of the track, leaving the passengers hanging at heights between 20 and 30 meters (65.6 to 98.4 feet) above the pavement.

▼ Video of the stopped cars

Rescue workers sprang into action and were able to access the cars via a maintenance walkway that parallels the coaster’s course. However, the one-by-one evacuation process proved time-consuming, with the last of the 64 stranded passengers to exit the cars spending roughly two hours in their predicament. Thankfully, no injuries were reported.

This marks the fourth time The Flying Dinosaur has had to execute an emergency stop since the attraction was added to the park in 2016. The first incident, in 2016, was prompted when workers noticed a passenger was holding a mobile phone while riding (ostensibly to film a video), which is prohibited. Two stoppages occurred in 2017, one when a security sensor initiated an automatic stop, and the other when employees noticed a child had entered a restricted area underneath the coaster.

Universal Studios Japan has yet to say what sort of problem caused the latest emergency stop, but in the meantime, we won’t blame you if you skip The Flying Dinosaur and ride USJ’s Final Fantasy coaster, or perhaps Japan’s slowest roller coaster, instead.

Sources: NHK News Web, Hachima Kiko
Images: YouTube/ユニバーサル・スタジオ・ジャパン(USJ)公式チャンネル