Rollercoaster gets stuck: Alton Rollercoaster Stuck
Published: July 2, 2015
Rollercoaster gets stuck: Alton Rollercoaster Stuck, Dozens of people were left hanging face down in mid-air for twenty minutes after a ride at Alton Towers malfunctioned on the hottest day of the year.
The group of 26 terrified thrill seekers were stranded at around 2.10pm after the Air rollercoaster suffered what the Staffordshire park described as a ‘minor technical stoppage’. No one was injured.
It is just the latest set-back to hit the beleaguered amusement park – last month 16 people were injured when two carriages on the Smiler rollercoaster crashed into each other.
Two young women suffered serious injuries and have since each had a leg amputated.
While eye-witnesses and people on board the ride claimed they were stuck face down for at least 20 minutes yesterday, park bosses denied the claims.
On Twitter the Alton Towers account said: ‘Air did experience technical delays though nobody was left stranded upside down and the ride re-opened shortly after.’
But one rider told the Mirror: ‘I think it was about half an hour in total. It was horrible, the heat was ridiculous anyway and we were suspended face down in the air.
‘I started feeling really light-headed and was worried I would faint. The staff were excellent but it ruined my day, we just went straight home.’
Other eye-witnesses said riders were left in tears after the ride abruptly stopped half-way round the dizzying circuit.
Emma Gray, 34, said: ‘It was scary, especially after the Smiler crash. You could hear people screaming “help, help” but they were just left stranded almost completely upside down.
‘I don’t know what caused it to stop but someone said they overheard a worker on the ride say the heat might have caused the rails to buckle.
‘It was proper hot too. Thank god no one was hurt.
‘Alton Towers needs to examine their rides much more carefully.’
Meanwhile, just a couple of hours later a further 80 people were stuck on the theme park’s monorail yesterday after two carriages stopped at around 5.25pm due to a ‘technical issue’.
The passengers were stranded in the sweltering compartments for an hour as temperatures soared up to 28C on the hottest day of the year so far.
A spokesman said delays were ‘within expected levels’ and the monorail would re-open today.
It took an hour to walk 80 people off the monorail using the evacuation walkways, the park said.
‘The train drivers kept guests informed via the on board PA system and refreshments were provided,’ an Alton Towers spokesman said.
Guests stuck on the Air ride were cleared ‘within standard operating procedures’, according to park bosses.
People waiting to go on the ride took to Twitter to say people had been left ‘stranded’ on the Air rollercoaster.
The park had previously said it would introduce stricter safety procedures in the wake of the Smiler crash.
Sarah Chapman who was at the park tweeted: ‘Second ride to close today and loads of people stranded on Air #epicfail #altontowers.’
An Alton Towers spokesman said: ‘Air had a minor technical stoppage yesterday afternoon. The whole process of clearing guests from the area took 20 minutes, which is within standard operating procedures. The ride opened shortly after the minor delay yesterday.
I’m not an expert, but I can’t help but think that Alton Towers could do with re-evaluating their safety standards. #smiler #air #monorail
— Rachel (@whiteroserachel) July 2, 2015
About two years ago I was queuing for Air when it got stuck face-down coming into the station. Passengers vomiting, not pretty. #AltonTowers
— Rachel (@whiteroserachel) July 2, 2015
‘Guests (and the media) are more focused on any minor delay or technical stoppage at the current time, but any delays that we are experiencing now are within our expected level and will be dealt with according to our stringent processes; rides will reopen as appropriate.
‘Alton Towers puts the health and safety of its guests at the forefront of everything it does, which means that from time to time rides will be closed to allow for technical issues to be reviewed.
‘We do understand that this can be inconvenient for our guests and we will keep them as informed as we are able to throughout any delays, but we will not operate a ride if there is any suggestion of a safety compromise.’
The amusement park also issued an apology after it took an hour to evacuate passengers from two carriages on the broken-down monorail on the hottest day of the year.
A park spokeswoman said: ‘In order to try and keep the evacuation of the 80 guests as simple as possible the decision was taken to move the trains to the nearest evacuation platforms.
‘This took around half an hour for one train and a further 30 minutes for the second.’
Vicky Balch, 20, from Lancashire, had her right leg amputated below the knee, following last month’s crash on the Smiler ride at Alton Towers,
Alton towers needs to sort itself out – smiler, monorail and now air! #scaredtogoback
— Matt (@Matthew_91) July 2, 2015
Stood queuing and notice that yet another ride had failed. Air was stuck . #AltonTowers #EpicFail pic.twitter.com/eOZmoefPvM
— Richard Smith (@ukcommando1) July 1, 2015
News of Miss Balch’s operation came shortly after it was revealed Leah Washington, 17, of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, had her left leg amputated above the knee following the horror accident on June 2.
Both Miss Balch and Miss Washington were riding in the front seats of a carriage on board the ride when it collided with another carriage which had been left on the track.
Speaking at the time of the accident, Miss Balch said she felt the metal bars enter her leg after the collision before passing out, and waking up to see blood covering the carriage.
Both young women have described how they waited for more than four hours on the ride before they were freed.
Miss Washington’s boyfriend Joe Pugh, 18, has previously told of how he tried to comfort his girlfriend as she screamed in the seat next to him while her jeans were soaked in blood.
Following the accident Mr Pugh was treated for a shattered kneecap, while Daniel Thorpe, 27, a hotel manager from Buxton in Derbyshire who was treated for a collapsed lung and fractured leg.
Chandaben Chauhan, 49, of Wednesbury, West Midlands, also suffered injuries.
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