Cheetah Hunt back open following malfunction

7:12 PM, Feb 14, 2014   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- Cheetah Hunt is back open Friday just in time for the weekend after a malfunction stranded 16 riders on one of its cars Wednesday evening.

Busch Gardens released the following statement on roller coaster's reopening Friday:

"Busch Gardens has confirmed Cheetah Hunt is operating within its design parameter and is open for guests today, Feb. 14.  Safety systems for the ride performed as designed and all guests are able to safely disembark from the ride. All ride attractions are inspected daily by trained technicians to ensure they are operating properly. The safety of guests and team members is Busch Gardens' highest priority."

One-by-one riders were plucked from their seats by firefighters during a cold front that brought stormy weather to the area Wednesday evening. None of them were injured.

PICS: Riders rescued at Busch Gardens

"They were at an angle probably 30 degrees, so just unbuckling them caused anxiety for both the passengers and our people, but [we] were able to put a nice harness on them, get them into the buckets, and lower them down to the ground," said Tampa Fire Special Ops Chief Emilio Salabarria.

No official word yet on what caused the malfunction.

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