Fire Crews Rescue 18 People Stuck on Ferris Wheel at Altavista Festival

This still image of cell phone video shot by ABC 13 viewer Kristen Akers shows the scene Saturday night.

Altavista, VA - It was a frustrating end to Uncle Billy's Day Festival in Altavista Saturday night after more than a dozen people were stuck on the Ferris wheel for hours.

Altavista Fire Chief Lee Neal says they got a call around 10:45 p.m. saying there had been a malfunction on the Ferris wheel ride at English Park.

Officials say the motors stopped working on the ride causing it to smoke. Workers were not able to get the wheel turning manually.

About 18 people were riding the Ferris wheel at the time, and firefighters had to use a lift and a ladder truck to individually carry them to safety.

The last person was taken down at around midnight.

Altavista officials say no one was hurt in the process.

Uncle Billy's Day Festival is an annual two-day event in downtown Altavista. It was supposed to end at 11 p.m.