Thrillseekers were left stranded in the air this afternoon after a ride at Alton Towers broke down. According to visitors, those on the Air Galactica ride were left ‘facing the rocks’ for 30 minutes on June’s hottest day in 40 years.

Others said riders had to be told that they were trapped – as they were wearing virtual reality headsets at the time. One rider said passengers were having ‘panic attacks’ and were worried the harness was going to open.  Eventually, technicians were able to restart the ride.

The witness said: ‘The ride was face down and we were ascending when the train just stopped. I was with my daughter and it was terrifying if I’m honest. Lots of people were having panic attacks. Problem is because you are not sitting [upright] you cannot even imagine how you are going to get out.” Alton Towers later confirmed on Twitter that the ride is out of order.