Ohio Roller Coaster Malfunction Injures 27

A malfunction on an amusement park ride Sunday sent 27 people to hospitals, most with minor chest and neck injuries, a park official said.

The accident happened on the Son of Beast roller coaster at Paramount's Kings Island just northeast of Cincinnati. WCPO-TV reported that witnesses saw the roller coaster come to an abrupt stop about 4:45 p.m.

Riders complained of discomfort after the coaster completed a circuit and pulled back into the boarding area, said Maureen Kaiser, a spokeswoman for the park.

Twenty-seven people were injured, Kaiser said. Twenty-five riders had been released from hospitals within seven hours of the accident and one had been admitted with injuries that weren't life-threatening, Kaiser said. She did not know the other patient's condition.

Park officials shut down the ride and were examining it, Kaiser said. The park's Web site describes the roller coaster as "the tallest, fastest and only looping wooden coaster on the planet," with riders descending a 214-foot hill at more than 78 mph. The coaster, which opened in 2000, is more than 7,000 feet long and features a 118-foot tall loop.