Those riding on Britain’s tallest rollercoaster got more of an adrenaline rush than they bargained for on Sunday afternoon, when they were forced to climb down 213 feet to make it safely to the ground after the ride broke down.
LancashireLive reported that park staff at the Blackpool Pleasure Beach theme park were forced to scale the “Big One” rollercoaster before slowly guiding the nervous visitors to walk down off the ride.
Images and videos of the rescue circulated on social media.
Margaret Summers, a local resident, posted about the incident on Facebook.
“OMG. Big one stopped right at top today 12ish and the staff had to walk every one down safely. Well done,” she wrote.
“Think I would have been really scared. Then it was sent round the track empty a few times then we walked home bit of excitement. All worked out ok.”
Another person on Twitter, named as Claire, said: “My brother’s in Blackpool and just sent a video of people stuck at the top of the Big One and having to walk down to get off it.
“I’d be welded to my seat. They’d have to get me out with a crane.”
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Jon Walsh posted a photo of people walking off the ride on Twitter. He joked: “Walking people down the Big One in Blackpool. At least they will get their steps done today.”
Blackpool Pleasure Beach had been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it reopened on April 12 as restrictions in England eased.
A Blackpool Pleasure Beach spokesperson said: “At 11.30am on Sunday 25th April a stoppage occurred on the Big One lift hill.
“The decision was taken to stop the ride and all riders were safely escorted down the lift hill. The ride was checked and re-opened at approximately 1.00pm.”
The £12 million ($16.7 million) Big One opened in 1994, and it was the tallest and steepest roller coaster at the time.
The world’s tallest is now the Kingda Ka in Jackson, New Jersey, which is a stomach-churning 420 feet high.
The Big One has malfunctioned before, but with more serious consequences. In July 1994, shortly after the attraction was completed, 26 riders were injured when the computer system failed to completely stop a train returning to the station. Around six years later, another train collision occurred due to a computer failure, leaving 20 people injured.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach first opened in 1896. It houses 38 attractions, including 10 rollercoasters and five water rides.
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