Riders on The Smiler at Alton Towers were left dangling 30m (100ft) off the ground after the rollercoaster abruptly stopped.

Their carriage stopped partway around the track on Tuesday evening, and eyewitnesses said those on board were stuck for about 20 minutes.

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

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

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

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Like many rollercoasters, 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.