More than 100 people were left trapped in hanging gondolas for two hours at a zoo after vandals caused the ride to stop 40 feet in the air.
Scared children were seen crying in a video posted on Snapchat by a passenger after the Skyfari Aerial Tram at San Diego Zoo in California came to a sudden halt.
Shocked staff at the zoo were left stumped when they weren’t able to get the ride, which usually takes around 20 minutes, moving again.
The tram, which is made up of around 80 gondolas that take riders 40 feet in the air, completely shut down at around 2pm on Saturday, January 29.
Youngsters stuck on the ride posted a short clip on Snapchat in which they were heard shouting “I’m scared, look how high we are”.
Firefighters from the San Diego Fire Department were called to a “miscellaneous rescue” at 3:30pm to help rescue punters stuck on the tram.
But they were stood down when staff finally got the tram moving again.
The Fire Department said in a tweet: “Crews at the Zoo assisting patrons who were stuck on the Skyfari ride for about an hour.
“Now unstuck and patrons safely exiting gondolas on their own. Some may need medical eval. Crews remaining until all are on the ground.”
Reports from US media suggest as many as 160 people were on the ride at the time of the horror.
Four men, aged between 20 and 14, were arrested by police at the zoo for vandalism in connection with the incident.
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The men are suspected of causing an automatic shutdown of the ride by swinging their gondola from side to side, which knock it off a rail or a cable on the ride.
Police Officer Darius Jamsetjee said they were inside one of the gondolas when the ride stopped around 2pm.
All the riders were freed by 4.35pm and no injuries were reported.
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