ORLANDO, Fla. - People were out and about at ICON Park in Orlando on Monday, but one of the amusement park's main rides – its 400-foot Ferris wheel – remained closed after it suffered a power failure on New Year's Eve, showering one of the cabins in sparks.
Video showed what appears to be sparks shooting out from part of the ride and then falling on top of and in front of a cabin below. It's not clear if anyone was inside that particular cabin, but moments later, the Ferris wheel lost power with people inside 20 of those cabins.
Emergency crews had to manually rotate the massive Ferris wheel to rescue more than 60 people inside those 20 cabins, Orange County Fire Rescue Division Chief Martis Mack told reporters on Saturday night. No injuries were reported.
Cori Magnotta was waiting in line with her family to board the Ferris wheel.
"All of a sudden there are sparks to our right as we are being told to get into the car," she told FOX 35.
"They kept gesturing that we could come forward and its like, we just saw sparks," she said.
In a statement, ICON Park said the attraction would stay closed for a few days for maintenance and would not reopen until state inspectors give the OK. It is not yet known what caused the sparks or the power failure.
The process of rotating the ride and ensuring everyone was safe understandably took several hours to complete.
"If we had timed it two minutes differently, we would have been in one of those cars. My anxiety and claustrophobia; it would have been terrible," she said.
Division Chief Mask said Orange County Fire Rescue's technical rescue teams have previously conducted training exercises with The Wheel.
"We’ve trained hours and hours on this type of rescue, so we were ready for this," he said.
A timeline on when The Wheel could reopen was not immediately available.