Alton Towers Smiler rollercoaster breaks down AGAIN as riders are left stranded for 45 minutes

The notorious Smiler rollercoaster at Alton Towers has broken down again as riders were left stranded for 45 minutes.

The ride came to a halt because of a ‘technical fault’, just over two years after a number of people were seriously injured in a crash on the rollercoaster.

Riders were left stuck in a vertical climb on the Smiler for three quarters of an hour on Tuesday afternoon at the theme park in Staffordshire.

One person said they were ‘hung upside-down for an eternity’ on the rollercoaster.

Twitter user @t0wen said: ‘I was on there. 45 mins. Not cool. Ride malfunctioned and we all hung upside down for an eternity.’

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A video of the malfunction was posted on Twitter by Eugene Prokudin, who wrote: ‘And that’s what you don’t want to happen with your cart when you’re stuck at 90 degrees.’

Aimèe King was about to get on the ride when the technical fault occurred.

She tweeted: ‘Smiler breaking down just before we were about to queue… no thanks.’

Earlier this month, the rollercoaster was evacuated after a customer triggered an alarm on a safety harness.

A spokeswoman for Alton Towers said the incident on Tuesday was a minor technical fault.

‘At 16.26 yesterday The Smiler experienced a temporary stoppage as a result of a sensor detecting a minor technical issue,’ she said.

‘This was completely normal and what the ride, as well as others, are designed to do at theme parks across the world.

‘At no point was guest safety compromised.’

The £18 million ride, which launched in May 2013, holds the world record for the greatest number of inversions on a rollercoaster.

On June 2, 2015, a Smiler train full of riders collided with an empty test train, causing life-changing injuries to many visitors.

Vicky Balch and Leah Washington, both teenagers, had legs amputated after the crash.

Ms Washington’s boyfriend Joe Pugh’s knees were shattered while Ms Balch’s boyfriend Daniel Thorpe suffered a broken leg and a punctured lung.

Merlin Attractions, the owner of Alton Towers, was fined £5 million for health and safety breaches.

The ride reopened in March 2016.