Stoke & Staffordshire

Alton Towers: 80 stuck as monorail breaks down

The stranded Air ride. Image copyright Sarah Chapman
Image caption Sarah Chapman photographed the stranded Air ride

Eighty people were stuck for an hour at Alton Towers after two monorail trains broke down on the hottest day of the year.

The park's Air rollercoaster was also temporarily stopped on Wednesday afternoon, with some people stranded in mid-air for 20 minutes.

Alton Towers has now apologised and said the affected monorail train had been removed pending inquiries.

A spokesman said rides and attractions were performing as they should.

"Of course we are very sorry for any inconvenience caused to our guests, and we have apologised to them, but as I'm sure you can appreciate we will not operate a ride if there is any suggestion of a safety compromise," she said.

Two monorail trains stopped at 17:25 BST, leaving people trapped inside.

Alton Towers said a sensor was activated on one train that caused it to stop and then a second train travelling behind it was automatically shut down by the system.

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 onboard 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. No injuries have been reported.

Visitors waiting to go on the ride took to Twitter to say people had been left "stranded" on the Air rollercoaster.

It comes after 16 people were hurt when the Smiler rollercoaster crashed into an empty carriage at the theme park last month.

The park had previously said it would introduce stricter safety procedures in the wake of the crash.

Two women, 20-year-old Vicky Balch and 17-year-old Leah Washington, underwent leg amputations following the crash on 2 June.

On Wednesday Ms Balch, from Lancashire, tweeted a photo of her meeting Maj Kate Philp, from Knightwick in Worcestershire, who lost her left leg as the result of a bomb blast.

She wrote: "Today I was inspired by a very amazing woman Major Kate Philp and I hope one day I can do the same for somebody else."

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