Rollercoaster breaks leaving tourists left hanging face down over 15-storey drop

Rollercoaster breaks leaving tourists left hanging face down over 15-storey drop

Rollercoaster fans were left hanging upside down over a 15-storey drop after the ride malfunctioned.

The thrill ride – Gravity Max – is designed to tip riders over a cliffhanger, leaving them to hang upside down for a few seconds before dropping them on to the next section of the track.

But the 20 tourists visiting LIHPAO Discovery Land, in west Taiwan, found themselves hovering above the abyss for longer than they, or the ride owners, had anticipated.

Gravity Max is the only ride of its kind in the world to bring riders to the edge of a horizontal platform before tilting the entire train 90 degrees to line it up with an entirely separate set of tracks.

Suspected misalignment caused the train to tilt forwards then backwards on two occasions on Wednesday, January 30, before the train was finally righted.

The 20 riders were then made to leave the coaster platform on foot and walked down ladders to the ground.

Theme park director Wang Yung-hao revealed the fully seated tilting train was unable to properly line up with the vertical tracks below.

The misalignment caused the ride’s fail-safe to kick in, preventing the train from being released by the hooks holding it and its 20 passengers in place.

Engineers inspected the ride and reopened it just 20 minutes later.

Mr Wang said they were satisfied the fail-safe would prevent riders from coming to any harm.

He revealed misalignment can happen in strong winds, heavy rain or fog.

He reassured visitors that they were “100 percent safe” on Gravity Max, which is also called the ‘Tilt Coaster’ or ‘Cliffhanger’.

The affected tourists were each given theme park coupons worth 150 TWD – about £3.70 –  for their troubles.

The Cliffhanger was opened in 2002 and has 580 metres of track.

Its highest point takes riders to 49 metres and it reaches speeds of 94 kph.

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