Alton Towers Smiler rollercoaster to reopen eight months after crash that left five seriously injured

Alton Towers has decided to repoen the Smiler rollercoater despite owners recently being told they will be prosecuted over crash which left five with life-changing injuries

Emma Henderson@Emmalouisehendy
Tuesday 01 March 2016 10:13
The scene at the Smiler rollercoaster at Alton Towers shortly after the crash last summer
The scene at the Smiler rollercoaster at Alton Towers shortly after the crash last summer

Alton Towers will re-open the Smiler Rollercoaster next month, after it has been closed for five months following a crash were five people were seriously injured.

The ride was closed in June, after two women had their legs amputated as a result of their carriage colliding with a stationary carriage on the same track.

The theme park will open the ride again on March 19, when the new season begins.

A review of the incident has revealed the crash was caused by “human error” and not a mechanical problem.

The theme park said it has new safety measures across all multi-car rollercoasters in a bid to prevent a similar crash from happening.

“On re-opening, The Smiler ride will also incorporate an extensive set of new safety measures, including technical improvements and enhanced training.

“The technical improvements include multiple additional CCTV camera and additional manual reset buttons around the track which require staff to inspect each individual section to verify it is clear before authorisation can be given to restart the ride.”

The news comes after Alton Towers owners, Merlin, will be prosecuted over the crash.

Vicky Balch lost her right leg in the Alton Towers crash in June

Merlin Attractions will appear in court at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on April 22 to face a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Alton Towers reported a “significant” fall in visitor numbers after the accident on June 2015, which resulted in the park being closed down for four days.

Merlin allegedly breached section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which states: “It shall be the duty of the every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”

Among the sixteen people injured in the crash, Vicky Blach and Leah Washington each lost a leg.

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