More than two dozen people are recovering after a theme park ride in Oregon left them hanging upside down for over 20 minutes.

On Friday, June 14, 28 passengers on the AtmosFEAR ride at Portland’s Oaks Amusement Park found themselves suspended upside down around 2:55 p.m. when the ride abruptly stopped at its “apex position,” the park said in a statement shared on X (formerly Twitter).

Oaks Amusement Park

Ride operators immediately called 911 and initiated “emergency procedures.” First responders, including Portland Fire & Rescue, arrived around 3:20 p.m., and within minutes, all riders were safely brought back to the ground.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to the first responders and our staff for their prompt action, resulting in a positive outcome today,” park officials stated. “We also thank the park guests who quickly followed directions to vacate the area to allow emergency responders to attend to the situation. Most importantly, we are thankful that the riders are safe and reunited with their families.”


Park visitor Daniel Allen described the emotional moment when he finally touched the ground to ABC affiliate KATU. “I was crying, not of joy, not of anything, just crying. I was more happy to be alive. I’ve never appreciated my life more,” he shared.

Another rider, Jordan Harding, said that although she didn’t suffer any medical issues, the experience was uncomfortable. “My entire waist below was asleep,” she explained. “[A fellow rider] told me to hold my legs back. It was so hard.”

Oaks Amusement Park

Harding also praised her rescuer, a small female firefighter. “She said, ‘Oh, I got you.’ I asked, ‘Are you sure?’ and she picked me up. I was so overwhelmed, I gave her the biggest hug.”

One rider with pre-existing health conditions was taken to a local hospital as a precaution. All other riders were assessed and cleared to go home.

Oaks Amusement Park

In a Facebook post on Saturday, June 15, Portland Fire noted that rescue teams had previously trained for this scenario. The amusement park confirmed that the team was trained to respond to emergencies on this specific ride.

“[Firefighters] have preplanned this scenario and were ready to deploy our plan,” the fire department wrote. “It may have taken a few minutes longer to return everyone to the ground, but we are prepared for this and many other unique emergencies.”

The AtmosFEAR ride, which opened in 2021 and had operated without incident until Friday, was closed for the day and will remain closed until further notice. The park, in cooperation with the ride’s manufacturer and state inspectors, will investigate the cause of the malfunction.