Alton Towers Ride Leaves Thrill-Seekers 'Suspended 80 Feet In The Air'
The Galactica ride at Alton Towers left people stranded in the air 'looking face down at a pile of rocks'.
The ride, which, according to the website, gives tourists the chance to become a 'space tourist' by combining a rollercoaster with a virtual reality experience, is thought to have been temporarily closed.
Visitor, Brendan de Bruijn, said people were stuck on the ride - which opened in 2016 - for around 10 minutes.
"Just spent 10 minute stuck on Galactica," he tweeted. "Looking face down at a pile of rocks about 25m below us... Not impressed."
Credit: Alton Towers
One man, on board as it broke down, told LADbible about his experience.
"We were the second train to go with passengers, the first one went through fine. It's a face-down ride, so you're pushing onto the harness. About halfway up the ascent it just completely stopped.
"At first we wondered if it was part of the ride, as you can choose to wear a virtual headset or not, so we wondered if it was something for them. But after a couple of minutes, it got a little panicky.
"People started to freak out and get panic attacks, but we largely kept each other calm. We were about 20-25 metres in the air.
"A lot of the staff at Alton Towers are young people, students, and I'm not sure they knew how to deal with this situation. Eventually we were told that they were working on it."
The gentleman then explained that they had to complete the ride once the mechanism had restarted. Once he stepped off the ride, him and his daughter were offered little by Alton Towers.
"Nothing was offered to me. Alton Towers had obviously had issues in the past, and you recall this when you're dangling there. I'd have loved to have seen somewhere more senior.
"We were offered a couple of fast-pass tickets, and were told to go to guest services. We took 30 minutes before continuing with the rides, others just went straight home. We've come from Dublin for this, so we weren't going to leave it."
@altontowers and people stuck on the ride! pic.twitter.com/Uzkq0XpE16
- Sarah Moore (@sarahmoore) June 21, 2017
Hi Alex, we are working as quickly as possible to have Galactica up and flying again for our guests!
- Alton Towers Resort (@altontowers) June 21, 2017
Many angry punters have taken to Twitter to express their frustration at the ride being closed - particularly with the lengthy queueing times.
@altontowers Stood in the sweaty tunnel for galactica for over 30mins to then be told it's closed. Really annoyed. Not first time today!
- Wendy Fowler (@WendyFowlerUK) June 21, 2017
Sarah Moore added: "Galactica now closed and been sent away for a second time. Nearly 2hrs in total wasted queueing for closed ride!!"
It would also appear that it isn't the first time today that Galactica has faced problems. Alex Clarke tweeted: "Please tell me Galactica will be open again today, this is the second time I've come and it's been shut."
Credit: Alton Towers
An Alton Towers spokesperson said: "Earlier today, the computer systems on our Galactica ride detected a minor technical issue which caused the ride to stop.
"The ride was operating as it was designed to do. As the health and safety of our guests is paramount, we followed our well-rehearsed procedures in order to get the ride back into the station as quickly and safely as possible.
"The train returned to the station and guests disembarked in the normal way."
The ride was the first major unveiling by the Staffordshire theme park since the Smiler crash in 2015.
In the tragic incident, Leah Washington, Joe Pugh, Daniel Thorpe and Vicky Blach sustained life-changing injuries, with both girls having legs amputated.
Alton Towers was fined £5 million over the incident, and Vicky showed defiance as she then posed for a photoshoot. Her reason for doing so was 'to show that it's OK not to be perfect'.
British theme parks have suffered some backlash over the last couple of years for severe incidents. Last month Evha Jannath, an 11-year-old girl from Leicester, was killed on the Splash Canyon ride at Drayton Manor.
Featured Image Credit: Alton Towers
Topics: Alton Towers