Visitors at Alton Towers theme park were left stranded 66ft in the air as the ride they were on suffered technical faults.
Oblivion, one of the park’s most famous rides due to its vertical drop, malfunctioned yesterday, May 30, at approximately 2pm, causing some people to be stuck on the ride for around 30 minutes.
It’s been reported staff had to help the visitors off the ride and back down to safety.
— Si Toft (@st_toft) May 31, 2018
An Alton Towers spokesperson told the Mirror:
The guests were on part of the lift hill of the ride and assisted off the ride and down the steps within 30 minutes.
Fortunately, emergency services were not required, and despite the mechanical fault, staff described the incident as a routine stop.
Oblivion wasn’t the only ride to be affected by technical errors though, as several rides throughout the theme park had issues during the course of yesterday, Birmingham Live report.
The Wicker Man ride, Skyline and Galactica also experienced delays due to faults, however they were re-opened later on, with no reports of people being stuck on the rides.
The spokesperson continued:
Our team are working to resolve the technical delay on Skyride as quickly and safely as possible.
The incidents sparked a number of complaints from park-goers, with one person tweeting:
Hi currently am Alton towers! Not good waited an hour and a half to then be told wicker man had technical issues, then walked over to galactica which after queuing for 20mins that also had issues! then went to catch skyline to be told not in service! [sic]
Hi, Wicker Man experienced a 20 minute technical delay and Galactica 11 minutes. Both are now operating. Our team are working to resolve the technical delay on Skyride as quickly and safely as possible.
— Alton Towers Resort (@altontowers) May 31, 2018
While another disgruntled customer said:
Queuing for Wicker Man for almost 2 hours and now you’ve closed when I’m near the front? Joke this place.
— Andy (@AndyYates499) May 31, 2018
Other Twitter users, however, were glad to see Alton Towers taking due caution and making sure their rides are working properly.
One person wrote:
Get a grip! Would rather ride it right away and have an accident or have difficulty, or wait in a queue and be safe No brainer imho [sic]
Get a grip! Would you rather ride it right away and have an accident or have difficulty, or wait in a queue and be safe No brainer imho.
— Jackie Woolley (@Jackie_Woolley) May 31, 2018
Ever heard of teething problems… the rides [sic] new it happens to all rides. Oblivion stopped for safety reasons.
Ever heard of teething problems… the rides new it happens to all rides.
Oblivion stopped for safety reasons.
— ChargedTitan (@ChargedTitan23) May 31, 2018
Alton Towers explained rides can stop for a number of reasons, including staff ‘adding extra crafts or cars on to the track to meet demand, dropped car keys, people with their phones out, guest illness – this is what the ride is designed to do.’
It then takes a short period of time to reset these rides before they re-open to the guests.
This is completely normal protocol, especially during busier periods such as holidays.
— Alton Towers Resort (@altontowers) January 8, 2018
The Wicker Man ride opened earlier this year. It is the world’s first wooden rollercoaster which runs through fire.
The ride features, as its centrepiece, a 57.57ft tall Wicker Man structure which dominates the middle of the theme park, and appears to burst into flames as riders pass through it.
It’s the second rollercoaster to be built at the Staffordshire park since the Smiler accident in 2015, in which 16 people were injured.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.