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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 March 2008, 11:16 GMT
Passengers stranded on London Eye
London Eye
The London Eye is one of the capital's most popular attractions
Hundreds of passengers were stranded on the London Eye for up to an hour while urgent repairs were carried out.

About 400 people were instructed, via intercom, to open emergency supplies of water, blankets and commodes as the wheel was halted on Monday.

Engineers at the attraction on the South Bank of the River Thames removed one of four mechanical wheels, which was faulty, before restarting it.

Guests were offered a hot drink and a refund once they had come down.

The technical fault was spotted at about 1810 GMT and a decision was taken to stop the wheel while it was repaired.

It was handled very badly
Samantha Shearman

London Eye spokeswoman Liz Edwards, said: "We had two-way communication with all the guests, so we spoke to everyone to reassure them.

"There was a technical fault with one of the tyres so we thought the best thing to do was stop the wheel until it could be repaired."

But one of passengers stuck on the wheel complained about the lack of communication.

Samantha Shearman said: "It was a horrible experience. Staff were in poor communication with us in the capsules and when we got to get off, they panicked everyone into a stampede to get off.

"It was handled very badly."

The 135m (443ft) wheel has attracted over 27 million visitors since it opened in 2000.

Earlier this year, British Airways announced that it planned to end its sponsorship after eight years.



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