A rollercoaster ride called The Smiler at Alton Towers has undergone another tragedy, leaving dozens stranded upside down in midair for an hour after breaking down, according to the Mirror.
On the hottest day of the summer, the rollercoaster ride stopped at 5:25 p.m. on Wednesday as it was travelling upside down. Passengers were left hanging, screaming in horror as onlookers watched in fear 25 feet below.
— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) July 2, 2015
It took an hour to safely remove everyone from the ride, which Alton Towers has since issued an apology for. “In order to try to keep the evacuation of the 80 guests as simple as possible the decision was taken to move the trains to the nearest evacuation platforms,” said a spokeswoman at Alton Towers. “This took around half an hour for one train and a further 30 minutes for the second.”
“Guests 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.”
— Liverpool Echo (@LivEchonews) July 2, 2015
“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,” the spokeswoman continued.
“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.”
After the ordeal, guests who were awaiting their turn to ride the rollercoaster tweeted the following.
“Second ride to close today and loads of people stranded on air.”
“The train drivers kept guests informed via the on board PA system and refreshments were provided,” said the spokeswoman who also stated that the delays were “within expected levels.”
The rollercoaster breaks down a month after The Smiler accident left 16 people injured and two women, 20-year-old Vicky Balch and Leah Washington, 17, with leg amputations.
— lep.co.uk (@leponline) June 27, 2015
On June 16, workers mistakenly sent an empty test carriage onto the same tracks as the carriage carrying 16 people. Travelling at 50 mph, the empty carriage crashed into the other one, injuring everyone on the ride. Hours before rescuers arrived, several passengers sat in the carriage, bloodied with broken bones and unconscious as the two collided carriages swayed back and forth.
Balch, who was sitting in the front row with her friends and boyfriend, described the moment the rollercoaster crashed into the empty carriage. She stated as follows.
“It felt like slow motion. We banged into the car in front.
I felt the bars go into my knees. We moved backwards and the car went into us again. I passed out.
I was awoken by Dan shouting my name.
Everyone was screaming and I was in excruciating pain. I looked down and I could see blood all over. The bars were in my right knee.”
[Image courtesy of Christopher Furlong / Getty Images]