MENDON, MASS. (WHDH) – First responders were able to rescue dozens of passengers who were left hanging over animal exhibits after the skyride broke down at Southwick Zoo, the zoo announced on Friday.
While the zoo says it was able to immediately rescue around half of the jumpers before local firefighters arrived, 19 passengers were in the air for almost two hours before they could be successfully lowered to the ground in aerial lifts. Once responders arrived at the scene, the rescue operation lasted approximately 30 minutes.
Russ Carter, visiting the zoo with his grandson, said the incident was not as serious as it could have been.
“We were there for a good hour plus,” Carter said. “People passed, customers passed and threw the water at us. the people that worked here came over and kind of made sure we were comfortable.
Various savannah animals, including zebras, ostriches and water buffaloes, could be seen around the exhibit under the feet of passengers.
Despite the perilous situation, Carter’s grandson, Sebastian Dildan-Cottrell, said he did his best to put on a good face.
“I was really confident. I tried not to be afraid,” Dildan-Cottrell said. “I was really good at not being afraid.”
According to the zoo, an oil leak is the cause of the malfunction.
There are no reported injuries.
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