Riders left suspended for 20 minutes as Smiler ride stops 100ft in the air

(Terry Brooks)

Theme park-goers were left hanging for 20 minutes when the Smiler ride at Alton Towers stopped part-way round the track.

Eyewitnesses reported that the roller-coaster stopped around 100 feet from the ground, leaving riders suspended for about 20 minutes before the carriage returned to the platform at approximately 6pm on Tuesday.

An Alton Towers spokesperson said: “We apologise to all guests affected by the stoppage on The Smiler late this afternoon.

“Our guest relations team have spoken to everyone on board to offer return tickets to the park as compensation for the inconvenience.

Riders were left suspended on the Smiler for around 20 minutes Credit: Terry Brooks

“Our technical team are working to reset the ride this evening so this should not affect guests visiting the park tomorrow.”

Like many roller-coasters, the Smiler has sensors positioned along the length of the track which will stop the ride as a precaution if they detect anything that may be amiss.

In 2015, two teenagers needed leg amputations after a 90mph collision with an empty carriage on the Smiler.