Alton Towers visitors climb down Oblivion rollercoaster as ride stops before 180ft drop


Alton Towers visitors were forced to climb down from the park’s iconic Oblivion rollercoaster as it came to a halt just before the huge 180ft drop.

Park-goers were photographed being led down from the world’s first vertical rollercoaster yesterday as temperatures at the Staffordshire theme park rose to 37C.

A Twitter user named Dean shared photos on the social media platform, explaining that the shuttle carrying passengers around the ride had stopped at the top of the track, the Liverpool Echo reports.

“An Oblivion shuttle has stopped at the top, I’m sure the magical bottles of water will be straight out in this heat,” he wrote.

“The magic bottles of water have made it up to the guests on board.”

Dean provided live commentary of the evacuation process as he confirmed the thrill-seekers were safely led down from the rollercoaster.

He added: “Guests are now being evacuated from the top, they have remained safe throughout the evacuation, with bottled water provided, and a harness to walk back down to the ground!”

A spokesperson for Alton Towers described the process as a “routine stoppage”. They added: “The ride performed exactly as it is designed to do.

“In line with our well-rehearsed procedures, guests were assisted from the ride and were immediately given water, food, hats and all left happy to continue on with their day at the park.

“At no point was guest safety compromised.”

The Oblivion rollercoaster has been marketed to the public as “the world’s first vertical drop rollercoaster”, which opened to the public in 1998 amidst a large publicity campaign.

In 2015, Alton Towers closed to the public after a tragic accident that left four people seriously injured with another twelve walking wounded.

The Smiler ride they were in collided with another, which had come to a halt on the track.

Since the accident, Daniel Thorpe, Vicky Balch, Joe Pugh and Leah Washington were named as the four left seriously injured.

Joe was on the front row of The Smiler with his girlfriend Leah when it smashed into another carriage and injured both of them.

The other two victims were Vicky Balch and her boyfriend Daniel Thorpe.

Nick Varney, chief executive of the park’s owner Merlin Entertainments, said the incident was a “terrible event” for everyone involved.

He added: “We are very aware of the impact it will have on those involved and we are doing all we can to provide our support to those injured and their families.”

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) removed the carriages involved in the crash and took them to the Health and Safety Laboratory in Buxton for further analysis.