Alton Towers has released a statement following reports that a bolt fell from The Smiler roller coaster on July 21, causing two track pieces to separate slightly.
The statement reads: "Yesterday morning, Sunday 21st July, in line with our standard procedures, Alton Towers Resort closed The Smiler to investigate a small piece of debris that had allegedly fallen from the track. At no time was any visitor at any risk, and 48 guests on the ride at the time were safely disembarked. As the health and safety of our guests is our primary concern, the ride will remain closed whilst the Resort’s technical team investigate."
While the statement claims that the debris "allegedly" fell from the track, photographs taken of the affected sections of track clearly show a missing bolt and a noticeable gap.
The Smiler was closed following the incident, and is likely to remain out of action while it is investigated. The UK's current heatwave has been suggested as a possible cause, with The Smiler's track being exposed to extremely hot temperatures for the first time.
The coaster, which had previously been known by its codename of "SW7", has shattered the world record for the most inversions in a coaster's circuit with a total of 14. Its circuit also features two lift hills, and is located alongside the existing Oblivion roller coaster in the X-Sector area.
You can find out more about Alton Towers' new addition by reading Theme Park Tourist's in-depth review of The Smiler.