Firefighters work to free the stranded
Firemen were tonight working to rescue 40 people stranded 20ft in the air on a theme park ride.
The riders - including around 25 children - became trapped on Rameses Revenge, one of the star attractions of Chessington World of Adventures in Surrey, and the fire brigade were called at 5pm.
The fault was caused by a mechanical failure which saw the riders trapped in their harnesses, and the London Fire Brigade were getting people out the ride with specialist cutting equipment.
LFB spokesman Justin Coo said at 7pm that there were around 15 people left on the ride, and he hoped that they would all be freed by his colleagues within the next hour.
Mr Coo added that Chessington had been looking after the riders - ‘feeding and watering them’ - while park staff tried to release all 40 themselves, before they decided to call the fire brigade.
He told Sky News: ‘As to how it happened, it's a mechanical failure. We've only got about 15 people remaining on the ride. They had been there for about two hours before.
‘We've had one minor asthma attack. We had 39 in total on the ride, and I would suggest that two thirds of those were children - probably from about age eight upwards.’
‘We can confirm that there has been the failure and we're using our dedicated cutters. They (Chessington) were looking to have a mechanical solution themselves - and they asked us to attend.’
One mother whose 13-year-old daughter was on board said the ride stopped at around 4pm.
In air: The Rameses Revenge ride (file picture) sits in the Forbidden Kingdom area of the £43-per-person park
She told Sky News: ‘They have been sending up water and sun cream to them because it was rather hot initially. They are taking children down first.
‘There are some kids on there with learning difficulties that are being brought down. It is very concerning because they were stuck and all the electrics failed.
‘They were on the ride for 90 minutes before the fire and rescue service came out to them. I think they are all in a little personal discomfort. I hear some people are in a bit of distress now.’
A fire engine from Surbiton fire station along with three fire rescue units from Wimbledon, Battersea and Heston stations were at the scene
The ride, which has a minimum height restriction of 4ft 7in, sits in the Forbidden Kingdom area of the park - where adult tickets cost £43 on the gate - and was opened in 1995.
Its description on the park website says: 'Enjoy an exhilarating ride as Rameses Revenge turns you upside down, spins you around and lowers you head first over water fountains.'
Officials at the park - which was originally founded as a zoo in 1931 on the grounds of a country mansion, before reopening as a theme park in 1987 - were unavailable for comment.