People were "stuck upside down for 30 minutes" on stalled VR Alton Towers ride
Alton Towers' new virtual reality rollercoaster Galactica was suspended mid-air for 30 minutes yesterday as the 20m-high ride came to halt due to abrupt technical difficulties.
Some customers are claiming they were left "stuck upside down".
The park claims it took 19 minutes to get the 28 passengers safely off the ride after it stopped. However, several witnesses report being stuck upside down for between 30 and 40 minutes.
So being stuck mid air in the pouring rain on Galactica for 30 minutes was not pleasant..
— Tombo (@ItsThomasSymons) May 2, 2016
So just got stuck on Galactica for 30 minutes in mid air 😂😂 and upside down trust me 😂
— Bekah (@bekahs98) May 2, 2016
@altontowers just want to say thanks to Chris and Steve on Galactica today for keeping us so well informed and calm when the ride stopped
— Meg O'Dea (@megodea92) May 2, 2016
Witness Kate Smythe told The Guardian:
“We were standing underneath it when the ride stopped and all the passengers were screaming and crying, they sounded terrified,” said , who was at the scene with her family. We were told the ride had flooded and I wonder if the electrics shorted in the rain.”
Alton Towers released an official statement late yesterday afternoon, blaming "heavy rain" and an "obscured sensor" for the trouble caused:
"This is a standard safety feature on this ride and the ride was working exactly as it is designed to do. The health and safety of our guests is our number one priority and our team followed standard procedures to get the guests off as quickly and as safely as possible. The ride has now re-opened."
It hasn't been a good year for Alton Towers – only last month the owner of the adventure theme park admitted to a "criminal breach" of health and safety laws and a count of negligence in court over an accident on June 2, 2015 which left teenage passengers Vicky Balch and Leah Washington needing leg amputations.