UK : Alton Towers ride Oblivion evacuated at highest point after ‘technical fault’


More than a dozen passengers were escorted off the Oblivion rollercoaster at its highest point on Tuesday because of a “technical fault”.

The incident at the Staffordshire theme park happened one month after a similar stoppage on the nearby Smiler rollercoaster, on which four people were badly injured in a crash two years ago.

Staff climbed to where the ride had stopped and attached harnesses to the passengers before leading them to safety.

One witness Alex Heasman-Bailey, 16, said he heard a “clunking noise” as the Oblivion ride suddenly came to a halt shortly after 3pm.

“The passengers were looking around and they were very anxious to step off the ride and onto the stairs because it’s quite a high fall,” he told MailOnline.

“The ride was going up the top then it stopped at the top at an angle and then they were sitting there for quite a while.

“I could see people in helmets with ropes going up to release them from their seats because the ride was completely stopped. There’s not much space so they were connected to emergency crews by the rope.”

An Alton Towers spokesperson said the ride was stopped after a minor technical fault was detected.

“This afternoon Oblivion stopped after a sensor on the ride detected a minor technical fault.

“The ride performed exactly as it is designed to do. In line with our well-rehearsed procedures, guests were assisted from the ride. At no point was guest safety compromised.”

The incident happened near the Smiler rollercoaster, which crashed two years ago. A total of 16 people were injured on the ride when the carriage hit the one that had come to a halt on the track.

Two of those seriously injured – Leah Washington, 17, and 20-year-old Vicky Balch – each had legs amputated following the smash.

Last month, passengers were trapped on the ride for as long as 45 minutes after it stopped due to a technical fault.

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