A man who says he was a passenger on the Smiler when some of the wheels flew off has told ITV News Central of his "absolute fear".
Kevin Hayes-Heath told ITV News Central that he was in the front row of the carriage and was "bombarded by the fibre bearings which were splitting and breaking up at the highest point of the ride".
An Alton Towers spokesperson has apologised for the ride closure and says an investigation into the incident is ongoing. They say "all of the rides and attractions are expected to meet extremely high standards, technologically, mechanically and in terms of the end experience".
The health and safety of all of our visitors is our absolute priority.
A spokeswoman for Alton Towers has confirmed that the theme park's Smiler rollercoaster ride has been closed after plastic guard wheels came loose and hit front row riders.
These were caught beneath the track in the safety netting, but regrettably several were flicked into the guests sitting in the front row of the train.
As you would expect from the UK's most famous Theme Park, all of the rides and attractions are expected to meet extremely high standards, technologically, mechanically and in terms of the end experience and a full investigation is now on-going to determine when the ride can re-open.
We are of course very sorry for any disappointment the ride's temporary closure is causing but the health and safety of all of our visitors is our absolute priority.