A portion of an historic Six Flags Magic Mountain roller coaster caught fire on Monday, pouring dark smoke over the popular amusement park in about 30 miles north of Los Angeles in Valencia, California. According to The Los Angeles Times, the fire broke out on the top part of the Colossus — a nearly 40-year-old wooden roller coaster — in the early afternoon. Fortunately, Six Flags Magic Mountain was closed on Monday, and no injuries were reported.
The flames reportedly erupted at the very top of Colossus, causing a small part of the wooden roller coaster to collapse. At this time, the cause of the fire is still unknown, but contractors were reportedly working on the Colossus when the fire flared, the Los Angeles County Fire Department confirmed in a tweet. Six Flags said in a statement that the contractors were in the process of disassembling the giant ride:
The fire at the top of the lift hill at Colossus is now out. It was started while work was being done to disassemble the ride. The park was closed today and there were no injuries. Colossus has been closed since August 17 for renovation.
The park also confirmed via Twitter that the fire was out nearly 45 minutes after it began.
The Colossus, which opened in 1978, had been closed for the last few weeks as it undergoes a 21st century transformation. Six Flags plans on turning the classic wooden coaster into a wood-steel hybrid, renaming it Twisted Colossus. Six Flags claimed in August that the new and improved roller coaster would be "world-record-breaking," boasting more than 5,000 feet of track and an 128-foot-drop.
Twister Colossus is slated to open in 2015. There's no word yet if Monday's fire will greatly hinder construction on the roller coaster. The damage, while not catastrophic, is still significant, with a whole section of the track completely gone.