Alton Towers re-opens to visitors and tumbleweeds

Part of the theme park remains closed and under investigation

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The Independent Online

Alton Towers re-opened at 10am this morning, a week after a crash on its Smiler ride that saw four people seriously injured.

Judging by the first few pictures coming in from people at the gates, the queues aren't exactly round-the-block.

The theme park has only partly re-opened, with the X-Sector remaining closed "until further notice" due to the ongoing investigation into the incident on The Smiler, which happened last Tuesday. The Oblivion, Enterprise, Sonic Spinball & Nemesis rides are all not running.

Alton Towers now faces a difficult task in regaining customers' trust.

"Alton Towers are on the PR offensive," @Mr_Rickette, who visited this morning, wrote, "As soon as we entered the park we were given free tickets for our next visit to say thanks for coming."

In a statement announcing the reopening of the park for 10am on Monday, Merlin CEO Nick Varney said that the management was "committed to ensuring that the public can again visit us with confidence".

He continued: "The accident last Tuesday was a terrible event for everyone involved. We are very aware of the impact it will have on those involved and we are doing all we can to provide our support to those injured and their families."

"We closed the Park immediately whilst preliminary investigations took place and to give our staff time to come to terms with the accident and its aftermath. In recent days our management team have been engaged in a thorough review of our operating and safety procedures before making this decision."

Alton Towers refused to comment on visitor numbers.