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Alton Towers suffers another blow after new VR ride breaks down

One of Britain's most popular theme parks faced another setback this week, after riders were left stranded on its new ride, less than 12 months after a serious roller coaster crash happened at the park.

Alton Towers' new "Galactica" ride—where passengers wear virtual reality headsets to experience a simulated form of space travel—halted temporarily over the U.K.'s long weekend, after heavy rain triggered it to come to a stop.

Alton Towers new "Galactica" ride | Please note: Not an image of the incident itself.
Credit: Alton Towers

Twenty eight riders were stuck lying face down on the Galactica ride on Monday afternoon, after the roller coaster halted due to heavy rain obscuring one of its sensors.

No injuries occurred during the incident and the stoppage happened near the beginning of the ride's track on the first "lift hill", Alton Towers confirmed to CNBC. The ride—which opened to the public in March—halted for around 20 minutes, according to the operator.

"On the afternoon of 2nd May, heavy rain obscured a sensor on Galactica which meant that the ride was automatically stopped," an Alton Towers spokesperson said in a statement emailed to CNBC.

"This is a standard safety feature on this ride and the ride was working exactly as it is designed to do."

"The health and safety of our guests is our number one priority and our team followed standard procedures to get the guests off as quickly and as safely as possible."

"The Smiler" rollercoaster, at Alton Towers Resort, U.K.
Roller coaster crash set to cost owner, Merlin Entertainments, $73M

Alton Towers has been under great scrutiny in the past year, after 14-loop roller coaster "The Smiler" saw two carriages collide with one another last June. Some 16 passengers were injured in the crash, including two women who needed leg amputations.

Merlin Entertainments, the world's second largest visitor attraction operator who owns the Staffordshire-based park, has looked into a number of new safety measures, cost-cutting options and new attractions since the event, which impacted visitor numbers.

Despite Monday's incident, some of the thrill seekers who were on the ride weren't critical of what happened, with a few people on Twitter saying how the staff kept riders up to date on what was going on.


The ride later reopened on Monday, and continued to work as usual on Tuesday, May 3.

Roller coaster to reopen 9 months on, despite crash

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