Visitors as young as 12 found themselves trapped on the Oblivion ride at Alton Towers after it came to a halt 180 feet in the air on the approach to the vertical drop.
Staff climbed the ride's access ladders and attached harnesses to the 16 passengers and helped them off the ride.
Oblivion was the world’s first vertical drop rollercoaster when it opened in March 1998, and 1,700 people can ride it every hour.
When the ride stopped on this occasion, it was at its highest point of 180 feet off the ground.
Witnesses at the scene said that “people in helmets with rope” climbed the structure to help those who were stuck on the ride.
Eyewitness Alex Heasman-Bailey, 16, told the MailOnline : “The passengers were looking around and they were very anxious to step off the ride and onto the stairs because it’s quite a high fall.”
Jack Hughes, 18, who was also at the park, said: “About six staff all went up with harnesses and started taking the riders off.
“People were gathering around and looking up at the ride. There were a few staff from the nearby shops that were looking up at it as well.”
Staff at the Staffordshire theme park said that the rollercoaster is designed to stop if it detects anything that could make the ride unsafe.
A spokesperson for the theme park said: “This afternoon Oblivion stopped after a sensor on the ride detected a minor technical fault.
“The ride performed exactly as it is designed to do. In line with our well-rehearsed procedures, guests were assisted from the ride. At no point was guest safety compromised.”
Last month, passengers were trapped on the ride for as long as 45 minutes after it stopped due to a technical fault.
In 2015, two teenage girls each lost a leg and 14 others were injured in an accident on the Smiler rollercoaster.