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03-22-2005, 05:53 PM #1
30 Mall of America visitors hung upside down
More than 30 Mall of America visitors hung upside down on the Mighty Axe ride for about 15 minutes Monday afternoon, but at least one rider took it all in stride.
While April Hanson, 14, of Lakeland, hung like a bat, she fished out a cell phone and called her mother. "I told her to come and take a picture of me," she said later, feet planted safely on terra firma.
When the Camp Snoopy amusement park ride got stuck for unknown reasons at 1:40 p.m., riders screamed as loose pocket change rained down. Some riders became lightheaded, but no one was hurt during the incident, which lasted a total of about an hour.
"At first they yelled, 'Hey, look at me. I'm upside down.' Then they screamed, 'Get me off this,' " said April, who was on spring break.
Crews gradually returned the upside-down ride to the upright position and lowered it to the loading area so the riders could get off. Firefighters stabilized the ride by tying it to a ring on the ground.
Matson Courrier, 7, of St. Cloud, displayed his $4.80 cash refund. "We went on the ride and then it got out of control," he said. "It went sideways and then upside down. It was awkward and weird. Then they tipped it on its side, and it felt a little better."