A teenage girl escaped serious injury on Saturday evening after falling 25 feet from an amusement park ride in Upstate New York, right into the arms of a crowd that had gathered below to catch her.
The dramatic fall and rescue were captured on video by a bystander at Six Flags Great Escape in Lake George.
In the video, a girl wearing blue shorts and a grey shirt is seen dangling from a stopped gondola and screaming as several onlookers shout in alarm.
Another child is seated inside the two-person gondola, shouting to shocked onlookers that the ride’s safety bar was “choking” the girl.
The crowd of quick-thinking strangers gathered beneath the dangling girl have their arms outstretched, ready to catch her.
After several moments, someone is heard in the video yelling: “They’ll catch you! They’ll catch you, honey, go ahead!”
Letting go, the girl falls, hits a tree branch and is caught by several people below.
Onlookers cheer as the limp girl is carried away.
The girl who fell was a 14-year-old from Greenwood, Delaware. She was treated by park emergency medical staff first, then taken to a local hospital and finally flown by helicopter to Albany Medical Center.
She is in stable condition with no serious injuries, police said.
A 47-year-old man was also taken to a local hospital for a back injury he suffered as he tried to catch the girl.
Police described the Sky Ride, the attraction from which the girl fell, as a “very slow-moving, gondola-style attraction that spans several hundred feet across the park.” It is a family ride with no minimum height requirement.
After receiving a call that a rider was in distress, park staff stopped the ride.
It’s unclear how long the girl was dangling from the gondola, but it was said for at least 90 seconds and possibly even a few minutes.
Investigators and park staff inspected the ride, including the gondola the girl had been in, and found that “everything was in proper working order and all safety equipment was intact and operational at the time of the incident”.