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Sheikra still shut down after dozens evacuated

Posted: 6:20 PM, May 13, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-13 18:22:35-04

Sheikra remains closed on Friday while inspectors and engineers work on the roller coaster a day after it was shut down for nearly two hours at Busch Gardens.

Just this past weekend, on Mother's Day, guests told us they took pictures of the same ride also stuck for nearly 45 minutes. That would be just four days before the ride was stuck with dozens of riders.

A spokeswoman for Busch Gardens said the ride on Mother's Day was down for 30 minutes for an inspection and that ride stoppages are not uncommon because it means their safety protocols are working. 

Alyssa, who didn't want to give her last name, and her family say they have noticed the coaster shut down multiple times, "and, I looked up and the ride was stuck."

ABC Action News looked into state inspections and found that our big amusement parks don't have federal inspections, instead they have their own inspectors and engineers. The parks do have to submit quarterly reports to the state though.

The reports we got from the state's Exempt Facilities Report, last updated April 19, 2016 show Busch Gardens has filled out "none reported" every quarter since 2004.

The last documented incident they have reported at Busch Gardens is in 2003, but at Adventure Island on the Tampa Typhoon slide. 

Majority of the reports made for the exempt facilities that include Sea World, Wet'n Wild, Disney World, Busch Gardens, Universal and Legoland include health reasons -- most from pre-existing conditions or people falling while getting off the ride. There were several reports from different parks of fractured bones.

Arguments are that amusement parks are able to hire their own, better qualified inspectors than regulators could do.