Indianapolis, Ind (WISH) — The Indianapolis Zoo’s Skyline ride has been closed and the Indianapolis Fire Department was called to bring eight people down from the ride.
Carla Knapp with the Indianapolis Zoo confirmed that the ride is currently down.
Knapp said that the ride stopped due to a mechanical issue with the gondola’s motor and that the Skyline safety systems performed as designed.
Knapp said that eight guests, including three children, were stuck on two cars.
WISH-TV spoke with the family on the phone Thursday evening.
Nearly 35 feet in the air, Eric Clayton found himself stuck on the Skyline ride with his three kids.
His wife Danielle Pate was on the ground watching, as she put it, helplessly.
“We had heard a few tales about the orangutan ride, about it breaking down,” Clayton said.
But the family decided to board the ride anyway.
“No sooner than we got on there and got going up, it broke down,” Clayton said. “We were up there about an hour and 15 minutes.”
Their young daughter was yelling for her mom.
“She was screaming for me a couple times from the cart and I could hear and I felt so bad because she’s mommy’s girl and I couldn’t help her,” Pate said.
“It was very heart-wrenching for me but when she came into my arms and I got teary eyed and I could say ‘she’s safe, I’ve got her,’” Pate said.
The family said they do not fault the zoo and that the staff did everything to ensure their safety and comfort.
“They brought us water and they made sure everyone was okay,” Clayton said.
And while they may not ride Skyline again soon, Eric said he believes it’s safe.
“As far as the safety of the ride, I think the ride is safe,” he said, “It didn’t roll backwards when we stopped and it didn’t fall when we stopped, that was a good thing,” Clayton said.
“Utilizing the Zoo’s equipment, Zoo staff with assistance from Indianapolis Fire Department are in the process of escorting guests off the ride,” said Knapp. “We are in the process of diagnosing the cause of the stop and we will not reopen the ride until we know definitively that the issue has been identified and fixed.”
“Our staff is in the process of diagnosing the issue and I’ll have more information as it becomes available,” said Knapp.
In June, 10 people were rescued after a technical issue on the ride.
The ride was also closed after an October 2014 incident that also left several passengers stranded.