Moment Alton Towers ride 'breaks down' eight years after horror crash

Heart-stopping moment Alton Towers Smiler rollercoaster ‘breaks down’ – leaving thrill seekers dangling vertically in mid-air – eight years after horror crash

  • The Smiler was seen being inched down the hill with passengers dangling 

Thrill seekers at Alton Towers were left stranded on a rollercoaster yesterday after the popular Smiler attraction appeared to ‘break down’ – leaving its passengers dangling vertically in mid air. 

In footage shared on social media, passengers can be seen being slowly dropped down from the large tower structure while concerned parkgoers watch on.

Captioning the video, a user said: ‘Not the smiler at Alton Towers breaking down whilst they’re vertical mid-air.’

The Smiler is one of the 910-acre theme parks most popular attractions but has been at the centre of several  controversial episodes since it was launched in 2013. 

These include a 2019 incident in which riders were left hanging 100ft in the air for 20 minutes and the infamous 2015 crash that saw 16 people injured with two people requiring partial leg amputations. 

In the footage the rollercoaster can be seen pausing in mid air while onlookers gather

The entire train is then seen inching down the hill to the surprise of other guests 

Reacting to the incident on Twitter, several people pointed out that although the scene looks dramatic the riders were never in any danger. 

One said: ‘The train going backwards down the lift hill is a design feature to allow the ride to return to the bottom of the lift hill for easier evacuation. 

‘Yeah it looks scary, and I would be odd to be on it, but that’s the ride working as designed, no one is at risk of harm.’ 

Another agreed: ‘People need to realise this is perfectly safe and will not cause any harm to the people on the ride.’ 

The incident comes days after visitors to the resort in Staffordshire were left furious after waiting ‘three hours’ in queues for rides that repeatedly broke down, sparking scenes of mayhem.

Pictures shared online have shown furious ticket-payers taking matters into their own hands and vaulting the ride enclosures after hours of waiting.

Venting on social media, one person claimed they had sat in the same line for The Smiler for three hours and not moved.

They said: ‘Absolute mayhem on the smiler. Three hours queue and then you seize [sic] operation. Absolute shambles from you!!’

One mother said her end-of-year treat for her daughter had been ruined by the fiasco.

She said: ‘Expensive end of year school trip that was for my daughter! Not even managed to get on one ride today! Totally worth it, not!’

MailOnline has approached Alton Towers for comment.  

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