NEW YORK CITY • A teenage girl escaped serious injury after falling 7.6m from an amusement park ride in upstate New York - and into the arms of a crowd that had gathered below to catch her.
The dramatic fall and rescue last Saturday was filmed by at least one bystander at Six Flags Great Escape in Lake George, New York, north of Albany. In the video, a girl wearing blue shorts and a grey shirt can be seen dangling from a stopped gondola and screaming as onlookers shout in alarm. Another person is seated inside the two-person gondola.
"I was sitting there waiting and I heard the people screaming," Mr Loren Lent, who recorded the video, told The Washington Post.
A crowd began gathering, their arms outstretched, as one person climbed onto a tree below the ride to try and break off branches, he said. "That was a very good idea... It was just good to see people band together to do what they could do."
After several moments, Mr Lent can be heard in the video yelling: "They'll catch you! They'll catch you, honey, go ahead!"
It was then that the girl fell, hitting a tree branch before being caught by several people below.
The video shows onlookers cheering after she was caught and her being carried away, limp. A statement from a sheriff's office said the girl was a 14-year-old park guest visiting from Greenwood, Delaware.
She was treated by park emergency medical staff first, taken to a local hospital and finally flown by helicopter to Albany Medical Centre. She remains in stable condition with no serious injuries, police said.
A 47-year-old man visiting the park from Schenectady, New York, was also taken to a local hospital for a back injury he suffered as he tried to catch the girl, police added.
They said the "Sky Ride" is a "very slow-moving, gondola-style attraction that spans several hundred feet across the park".