Duke of Edinburgh officially opens Brighton's i360 tower

Duke of Edinburgh in the i360 Image copyright PA
Image caption The Duke of Edinburgh boarded the curved-glass pod before ascending the i360 tower for views over the city

The Duke of Edinburgh has officially opened the world's thinnest tall building.

The 531ft (161m) British Airways i360 viewing tower stands on the site once occupied by the entrance to Brighton's ruined West Pier.

Prince Philip was greeted by large crowds as he arrived at the attraction.

The royal party ascended inside the curved-glass pod which gives a 360-degree view of up to 26 miles of the south coast.

The duke was shown the control room and the operating winch before unveiling a plaque.

Trapped passengers

The i360 holds the Guinness World Record for the globe's most slender tower, with a diameter of 3.9m at its widest point.

Visitors to the attraction ascend to 450ft (137m) and can get views from Bexhill in East Sussex, to Chichester in West Sussex and the South Downs to the north.

The tower first opened to passengers on 4 August but was closed twice in September due to technical problems.

About 180 people were stuck in mid-air for two hours on 8 September. It broke down a second time three days later, trapping 200 in the observation pod.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Prince Philip was greeted by the crowds as he arrived at the i360 tower in Brighton
Image copyright Rob Stothard
Image caption The i360 Tower was made by the same people behind the popular London Eye attraction

i360 in numbers

  • Trips last 20 minutes and cost £13.50 for adults and £6.75 for children
  • The tower consists of 17 steel "cans" or tubes made in Rotterdam
  • It contains 1,336 bolts weighing 30 tonnes
  • The viewing pod is 59ft (18m) wide - 10 times bigger than a London eye capsule

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