Sussex

Problem-hit i360 tower in Brighton reopens

View of i360 tower in Brighton
Image caption The i360 tower was made by the same people behind the popular London Eye attraction

Brighton's i360 attraction which has been closed for two days has opened for business again.

It comes after the observation pod broke down three times in five days. About 200 people were trapped for more than an hour on Sunday.

British Airways i360 said customers who had delayed their visit would still be able use their tickets.

It said the breakdowns happened after automatic brakes were triggered.

A spokeswoman said a load imbalance had led to the first problem last Thursday.

Then, 180 passengers were left stuck in mid-air for two hours with no proper toilet facilities. The i360 pod was carrying a private party, including a heavily pregnant woman.

'Teething problems'

Further problems occurred on Sunday when one of the sensors around the pod docking stations at ground level became loose, she said.

She said a false reading sent to the control system put the pod once more into safety mode by activating the brakes.

Two hundred passengers were stuck at ground level for more than an hour.

Two hours later there was a second technical fault leaving another group of visitors stuck in the pod.

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Media captionAs the seaside attraction reopened on Wednesday, chairman and architect David Marks said it had suffered "teething problems"

Chairman and architect David Marks apologised for the "teething problems", but said: "It would be highly unusual for something as new and innovative as this not to have some issues with it.

"Thankfully they were not serious issues."

Mr Marks conceded it had been "a terrible inconvenience" for all those involved in the incidents.

"I'm deeply sorry about it. We don't want to see that happening again.

"We've addressed the particular issues that caused the stoppages last week," he said.

British Airways i360 tweeted: "Any ticket holders who have delayed their visit while awaiting confirmation that we are open can use their ticket at a later time of the day if they wish."

The tower - branded the world's thinnest tall building - offers views of up to 26 miles of the Sussex coastline and opened on 4 August.

The 531ft (161m) viewing tower stands on the site once occupied by the entrance to Brighton's ruined West Pier.

Visitors ascend 450ft (137m) in a 360-degree curved-glass pod.

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