Alton Towers crash: lawyers say the Smiler ride 'may never re-open'

But the theme park insist no decisions have been made

Caroline Mortimer
Saturday 20 June 2015 17:53
Comments
The Smiler ride at Alton Towers Resort in Staffordshire, which is to re-open "within the next few days" but the ride involved in the crash in which 16 people were injured will remain shut for the foreseeable future, the company which runs the park has ann
The Smiler ride at Alton Towers Resort in Staffordshire, which is to re-open "within the next few days" but the ride involved in the crash in which 16 people were injured will remain shut for the foreseeable future, the company which runs the park has ann

Lawyers for the victims of the Alton Towers rollercoaster crash have said the ride may never open again.

As the first insurance payments are made to victims, law firm Stewarts Law has said the ‘Smiler’ ride has been dogged by safety problems since it first opened in 2013.

The firm’s clients- Joe Pugh, Victoria Balch and Leah Washington- were seriously injured when the carriage they were in on the ride crashed into an empty safety carriage which was not been moved off the track.

Leah Washington, 17, had to have her leg amputated after the disaster and could receive millions in compensation.

Her boyfriend Joe Pugh’s kneecaps were shattered in the collision and Victoria Balch underwent surgery for significant leg injuries.

17-year-old Leah Washington had her left leg amputated after last week's crash

The head of personal inquiry at the firm, Paul Paxton said he had had a meeting with the Health and Safety Executive: “The ride is likely to remain closed for a significant period of time; indeed it may never open again. The families are reassured that every angle is being thoroughly covered", according to Sky News.

"The families are satisfied that no expense is being spared in the investigation into what caused the accident on the Smiler ride at Alton Towers. The Health and Safety Inspectorate made it clear that the requisite multidisciplinary expertise was in place."

Victoria Balch, 20, was one of four injured on the 'Smiler' ride on Tuesday afternoon

The theme park was closed for six days after the crash on 2nd June.

16 people were left suspended above the ground as emergency services tried to free them.

One victim, Daniel Thorpe, suffered a broken leg and a punctured lung, according to his father.

A spokeswoman for Alton Towers told the Independent they had “not had any discussions” about the future of the ride and they will wait until the results of the Health and Safety Executive.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in