Two of the people injured in the Alton Towers rollercoaster crash were on their first "official" date, it has been reported.
John Pugh, 18, and Leah Washington, 17, both from Barnsley, were on the Smiler ride on Tuesday 2 June when their carriage collided with a stationary car on the track.
Four people, including Pugh, were hospitalised after suffering serious leg injuries, and a total of 16 people were hurt.
One injured rider was discharged from Royal Stoke University Hospital yesterday.
Alice Holmes, 18, a barmaid at Oaks Working Men's Club where Pugh is also employed, told Mail Online: "It was sort of their first official date."
She said of the pair’s visit to the theme park: "They had just got together last week and they wanted to do something fun together."
Pugh tweeted on 4 June that he had been "overwhelmed" by the response he had had following the accident.
So overwhelmed with the response I've had from my accident at Alton towers, Thankyou for everyone's concern— Joe (@JoePugh_) June 4, 2015
Vanisha Singh, who was in the second row of the carriage with her mother Chanda, 49, and her sister Meera, 26, told The Sun that there had been "technical difficulties" moments before they embarked on the ride, with several test cars sent ahead of them.
"We finally went up and were kept at the top for 10 or 15 minutes chatting, joking that we were the guinea pigs," the 29-year-old said.
Describing the crash, she added: "The metal safety bar smashed into our legs. There was loads of screaming. I felt a burning sensation in my pelvis, and back and neck pain."
The Oaks Working Men's Club posted on Facebook: "After hearing the news about the terrible accident at Alton Towers it has to come to our attention that a member of our staff was involved.
"We at the Oaks WMC would like to extend our prayers and best wishes in the speedy recovery of our barman Joe Pugh and his girlfriend Leah Washington."
June 2013: The Smiler opens at Alton Towers
Merlin Entertainments, which runs the resort, was the biggest faller on the FTSE 100 following the incident, with shares down 3%.
Alton Towers announced that the park would remain closed on 4 May as an investigation into the cause of the accident continued.
An Alton Towers spokesman said: "The decision has been taken that Alton Towers theme park will remain closed on Thursday following the incident on The Smiler.
Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin Entertainments, said the park could only reopen once the investigation had concluded but did not provide a time frame.
Additional reporting by PA
The best roller coasters in the world
The best roller coasters in the world
1/9 Millennium Force, USA
Breaking six world records when it was built in 2000, Millennium Force at Cedar Point in Ontario, United States, was briefly the tallest and fastest coaster in the world before Steel Dragon 2000. Millennium Force was also the world’s first Giga Coaster, exceeding 300 feet in height. Website: https://www.cedarpoint.com/ Ticket cost: £29.24
2/9 Formula Rossa, Abu Dhabi
Formula One fans looking to experience the thrill of high-speed manoeuvres need look no further than Formula Rossa, currently the world’s fastest roller coaster, located at Ferrari Word in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Once strapped in to the Ferrari “Rosso Scuderia” F1 inspired cockpit, riders experience an incredible top speed of 150mph, accompanied by acceleration G-Force of 1.7Gs. In order to accelerate to top speed in under five seconds, the ride uses a hydraulic launch system similar to those used to launch jets from aircraft carriers. The ride is so fast riders are required to wear safety goggles. Website: http://www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com/en-gb.aspx Entry cost: £38.18
3/9 Kingda Ka, USA
Currently the world’s tallest roller coaster, Kingda Ka reaches an impressive height of 456 feet. The roller coaster, found at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, in the United States, used to be the world’s fastest roller coaster, reaching 128 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds, before it lost that record to Formula Rossa in 2010. After a 90° rise to the top, riders then plummet down a 270 ° spiral drop. Website: https://www.sixflags.com/greatadventure Entry cost: £24.54
4/9 Colossos, Germany
The world’s tallest wooden roller coaster, Colossos in Heide Park, Germany, stretches 196 feet into the air. It is constructed using laser cut wood, which means the entire structure snaps together like pieces of Lego. Due to this, the wooden track gives a very smooth ride. Website: http://www.heide-park.de/en/heide-park/ Entry cost: £25.45
5/9 Steel Dragon 2000, Japan
Named after the Chinese New Year in 2000, Steel Dragon 2000 at Nagashima Spa Lad amusement park in Mie Prefecture, Japan, holds the record for the longest roller coaster in the world. Boasting a track length of 8,133 feet, it’s also the sixth fastest coaster in the world. Built in Japan, the coaster needed extra earthquake protection, pushing construction costs over $50 million. Website: http://www.nagashima-onsen.co.jp/index.html/ Ticket cost: £5.74
6/9 Takabisha, Japan
Famous for having a drop angle of 121°, Takabisha, located at the Fuji-Q Highland theme park in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan, is the steepest roller coaster in the world. The drop angle is known as a “beyond vertical” drop as riders travel back on themselves as they fly over the vertical lift and down the drop. Website: http://www.fujiq.jp/en/ Ticket cost: 5.74
7/9 Top Thrill Dragster, USA
Before being surpassed by Kingda Ka, Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, United States, was the world’s tallest roller coaster. Along with Kingda Ka, Top Thrill Dragster is one of two Strata Coaster types of roller coaster, featuring a drop of 400 feet and a full circuit. Reaching speeds of 120 mph in less than four seconds, Top Thrill Dragster may last only 17 seconds, but it’s sure to thrill. Website: https://www.cedarpoint.com/ Entry cost: £29.18
8/9 Space Mountain, USA
A clear fan favourite, Space Mountain, at Disney World, California, takes visitors on a rocket ride through stars, galaxies and asteroids. The ride is replicated across all five Magic Kingdom-style Disney Parks, so there’s no excuse to miss it. Website: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/ Entry cost: £56.15
This one’s a bit of a cheat because the ride isn’t actually completed yet, but Skyscraper at Orlando’s International Drive is planned to be the world’s tallest roller coaster in the world with a 570 foot tower. Riders will catch an elevator to the top of the structure before following the winding track down at 65 miles per hour. Unfortunately, the ride won’t be completed until 2016, but there’s still plenty of time to get excited.