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'Technical hitch' blamed after passengers are stranded on Marks Barfield's i360

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Operators of the new i360 observation tower in Brighton blamed a ‘technical hitch’ after 180 people were stranded up the Marks Barfield-designed landmark

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service confirmed it had sent two fire engines to the 173m-tall seafront attraction last night (8 September) when the pod, according to one passenger, ‘juddered to a halt’.

However it is understood engineers were able to sort out the problem and the private party in the capsule was lowered to the ground after being stranded for about two hours.

British Airways i360 which runs the world’s ‘first vertical cable car’, later apologised for the ‘slight technical hitch’.

Opened in August this year, the £40 million tower on the West Pier site features a doughnut-shaped glass pod, which can hold 200 people and is 10 times bigger than the capsules on the London Eye, which Marks Barfield also designed.

According to British Airways i360 the tower will be operating as normal today. Marks Barfield has been contacted for comment.

Official statement:

’British Airways i360 experienced a technical fault last night 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.

’Flights will be operating today as normal.’

Tallest UK towers outside London

Tallest towers graphic

Tallest towers graphic

 Section

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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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Readers' comments (2)

  • This raises the question of emergency exit arrangements because, unlike the Mont Blanc gondolas, it would appear mighty difficult - if not impossible - to rescue people by helicopter, given the risk of rotors colliding with the top of the mast. Winch down from a floor hatch?

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  • "Hello Mum...I'm going to be a bit late, I'm stuck in a donut on a stick"

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