A guest was injured in yesterday’s incident involving Alton Towers’ rollercoaster The Smiler, it has emerged.
A spokeswoman today described the objects which fell yesterday as “small guide wheels”, and said that one person was hit by one.
The park described the injuries sustained as “some bruising”, and that an investigation was now underway to determine when the ride could re-open.
Eyewitness Ben Green was on the ride when a woman in front of him was “hit in the face” by a “ring”.
He told Ride Rater: “They appeared to be some sort of rubber tyre. The woman was injured and removed from the ride covered in blood.”
Front-row rider Kevin Hayes-Heath told ITV News Central that he was “bombarded by the fibre bearings which were splitting and breaking up at the highest point of the ride”.
Alton Towers said the injured guest did not require assistance from the emergency services after being attended to by in-house park medics.
Involvement by the emergency services is a critical trigger to ride accidents, as their intervention leads to the mandatory involvement of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The park’s spokeswoman said: “We have very stringent safety procedures on all of our rides including CCTV so the ride was stopped immediately by the rides team.
“All of our rides and attractions are expected to meet extremely high standards, technologically, mechanically and in terms of the end experience, and a full investigation is on going before we determine whether to re-open the ride.
“We are sorry for any disappointment the ride’s temporary closure caused our visitors but the health and safety of all of our visitors is our absolute priority.”
The story is today being reported by the BBC, with widespread media coverage likely to ensue in the coming days.