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Oblivion roller coaster

Alton Towers was forced to close its Oblivion roller coaster on May 8 after a man entered the ride's tunnel and had to be rescued by fire crews.

At around 2.20pm, the man scaled the fence that surrounds the tunnel at the base of Oblivion's vertical drop. The coaster was immediately stopped, with the surrounding X-Sector area being cordoned off while the man was helped out of the tunnel. He was subsequently taken to University Hospital North Staffordshire, but was reportedly uninjured.

A spokesperson for Alton Towers said of the incident: "As with all our rides the area surrounding the Oblivion track is securely fenced off and ride operators reacted immediately in line with our well rehearsed safety procedures. A full investigation will now be carried out."

While there have been various rumours posted online regarding the reasons for the man scaling the fence and entering the tunnel, none of these have been confirmed. Oblivion is expected to open as normal on Wednesday, May 9.

Opened in 1998 at a cost of £12 million, Oblivion was the world's first vertical drop rollercoaster. A Bolliger & Mabillard Dive Machine, the ride dominates the futuristic X-Sector area of Alton Towers, and features a deep, dark pit at its base - which the intruder had managed to climb into.

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