Stratosphere malfunctions a third time at Minnesota State Fair - KMSP-TV

Stratosphere gets stuck a 3rd time in 3 days at Minnesota State Fair

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Stratosphere ride stuck at the Minnesota State Fair on Aug. 24, 2012. Photo shared to @MyFOX9 on Twitter by @MNFries Stratosphere ride stuck at the Minnesota State Fair on Aug. 24, 2012. Photo shared to @MyFOX9 on Twitter by @MNFries
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FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (KMSP) -

The Stratosphere ride at the Minnesota State Fair has reopened after getting stuck for the third time in three days, leaving riders stranded in the air twice.

Owner Tom McDonagh confirmed that the Stratosphere wasn't working again earlier Saturday due to a maintenance issue unrelated to the problem that grounded it during the fair's first two days.

At about 11:15 a.m. Friday, the Stratosphere came to a halt and remained stuck for about 45 minutes. By noon, the swings were brought down and the riders were being safely unloaded.

On Thursday, the fair's opening day, Stratosphere riders still were stuck for about 20 minutes.

A State Fair spokesperson said Thursday's malfunction was mechanical while Friday's issue was electrical. The ride, which was made in Holland, is the only one of its kind in the U.S., so reaching an expert on its mechanics is difficult.

Prior to being set up at the Minnesota State Fair, the ride had been featured across the border at the Wisconsin State Fair. Officials there say the ride had similar problems earlier this month.

The ride reopened at 8:10 p.m. on Saturday.

The website for Mighty Midway Attractions describes the Stratosphere ride as "a soaring gondola" that flies riders in a circle around a 190-foot tower, offering views of the fairgrounds from above and beyond.

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