TOURISTS at a theme park in Taiwan were left terrified after the world’s only tilting roller coaster malfunctioned on January 30.
The 20 passengers on the ride at LIHPAO Discovery Land in Taichung, west Taiwan found themselves hanging face down instead of moving into the next part of the ride.
Dubbed the “cliffhanger, the Gravity Max roller coaster is the only one of its kind in the world.
It brings 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.
According to Asian media, the ride broke down around 3.20pm.
It’s estimated that the 20 riders on board were hanging face down for up to half an hour before they were rescued via the 16-storey-high roller coaster platform on foot.
The ride then reopened to the public at 4.10pm, after inspection by the engineers.
In a video of the incident, the tourists can be seen suspended on the carriage before being slowly tilted back up to the tracks.
Theme park director Wang Yung-hao revealed that 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, Wang said, after they were satisfied that the fail-safe would prevent riders from coming to any harm.
Wang revealed misalignment can happen in strong winds – anything over six on the Beaufort scale – or during heavy rain or fog.
He reassured visitors that they were “100 per cent safe” on the Gravity Max ride.
The affected tourists were each given theme park coupons worth NT$150 (£3.70) for their troubles.
The ride was opened in 2002 and has 1,900 feet of track.
Its highest point takes riders to 160 foot and reaches speeds up to 58mph.
Last year, terrified tourists were stuck upside down after a ride malfunctioned at a theme park in China.
The ride Top Spin at Daqian Amusement Park in Neijiang City remained stuck for a few minutes before being brought safely to the ground.
Professor Brendan Walker, thrill engineer at Thrill Laboratory, previously revealed to Sun Online Travel how you can avoid feeling sick on rollercoaster rides.
Stem and crystallised ginger are the best way to prevent nausea, with the worst ride being the teacups as they “screw with your brain’s balance system”.
Sun Online has contacted LIHPAO Discovery Land for comment.