Crash knocks out power to rides at Six Flags Great Adventure

An automobile crash knocked out power to Six Flags Great Adventure on Sunday, causing rides to close for a short period of time and forcing some guests to have to wait for up to 45 minutes before being able to exit rides.
Early Sunday afternoon, an automobile accident on Route 537 caused "a momentary loss of power," Six Flags Great Adventure spokeswoman Kristin Siebeneicher said via email.
"All guests were safely unloaded from the rides," she added.
While most of the rides were reopened within about 45 minutes, Siebeneicher said that several of the theme park’s major rides were closed longer due to procedural safety checks.
"Safety is our No. 1 priority, so before we reopen the rides, we complete a full safety check to determine that they are safe to operate," Siebeneicher said. "The process of reopening rides varies depending on how lengthy the safety checks are for that particular ride."
On Six Flags rides that use centrifugal force – such as SkyScreamer or Tea Cups – or that require backup generators – such as the Big Wheel and Sky Way – the power outage’s impact on riders was either minimal or nonexistent.
All of the rides that use gravity, including most roller coasters, stopped in specially designated areas – such as their stations, lift hills or "block brake" straightaways midway through the rides – as they were designed to do, Siebeneicher said.
All of these areas have staircases nearby that enable guests to easily walk off the rides once it is safe for them to do so, she said.
"Most of the rides unloaded really quickly," she said, adding the longest unload times Sunday were on Bizarro and Skull Mountain, which took about 30 minutes, and the small kiddie Ferris wheel Camp Wagons, which took 45 minutes.
The theme park remained open during the power outage and closed at its regularly scheduled time of 10 p.m.
Due to the length of time that several of the rides were closed, however, Six Flags provided visitors a complimentary ticket to return to the theme park at a later date due to the inconvenience.
-Rob Spahr