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Passengers stranded again on Marks Barfield's i360 tower

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The Marks Barfield-designed i360 tower in Brighton has been closed for tests today after the observation pod broke down for the second time within a week

According to a BBC report, around 200 people were stuck at ground level after a problem with door sensors late yesterday afternoon (11 September).

The incident happened just days after 180 people were left stranded part way up the seafront structure for around two hours.

A passenger, Nic Small said that during the latest incident, ‘engineers could be seen outside the doors “with screwdrivers trying to remove panels”.

British Airways i360 said that engineers had been working on the problem to allow the attraction to reopen today (Monday).

However, the facility remains closed, with Worthing resident Kelly Westwood tweeting this morning: ‘Get all the way over here to find out that ‪@ba_i360 is shut and nobody lets us know.’

After the first incident on Wednesday, last week, British Airways i360 released a statement saying that the tower ‘experienced a technical fault which resulted in the pod stopping for a short time.

‘Our engineers worked to resolve the issue and bring the pod back down.

‘We would like to apologise to all customers affected; we will be refunding the flights and offering them complimentary tickets to return another time.’

Statement from David Marks – 13 September

On Thursday 8 September, the British Airways i360 pod stopped because of a load imbalance. Investigations reveal that the load and balance system settings were too low, which meant the system was over-sensitive. When the pod was near full capacity this triggered the default safety mode and the brakes were automatically applied.

To mitigate this, we operated to a lower capacity until we were able to adjust the settings and upgrade the software. This was done yesterday [September 12]. This evening, technicians will check the new load levels and test the settings to ensure the pod is now operating to the weight and balance levels for which it was designed.

On Sunday 11 September, one of the sensors around the pod docking stations at boarding level gave a false reading to the control system, which again put the pod into safety mode by activating the brakes. All the sensors have now been checked and adjusted where required, and will be monitored regularly.

We have a highly qualified engineering team on site during all operating hours and we are confident that these same issues will not happen again.

We are running final checks tonight and will announce in the morning our plans for reopening.

We would like to assure our customers that their safety and comfort is our number one priority and apologise again for any inconvenience caused.


Tallest UK towers outside London

Tallest towers graphic

Tallest towers graphic


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Section jpg

In numbers

Height of tower 162m
Diameter of tower 3.9m
Height to diameter ratio 40:1
Travel height of pod 138m
Pod diameter 18m
Weight of tower, cladding, ropes, pod and chassis 1,350 tonnes
Weight of foundation 4,150 tonnes
Number of passengers per ride 200
Driving power 160 Kw
Speed of ascent/descent 0.4m/second
Duration of ride 20 minutes
Viewing distance from top 26 miles
Ticket price £15

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