Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Four seriously injured in Alton Towers crash

  • 4 minutes ago
  • From the sectionEngland
The Smiler ride
Emergency crews were called to the scene at about 14:09 BST
Four people have been seriously injured in a crash between two carriages on a ride at Alton Towers in Staffordshire.
Sixteen people were on one carriage of the Smiler ride, the other was empty.
The resort said their first aid staff were on the scene and emergency crews were building a platform to help reach those on the ride.
The air ambulance is also in attendance following the collision that happened at 14:09 BST.
Eyewitness Ben Richardson said: "When the second carriage crashed people were screaming and shouting - even after it stopped. Everyone around the park ran over.
"The people looked significantly distressed. It was almost like a car crash, very full on."

'Serious injuries'

Sophie Underwood was also in the park at the time. She said quite a few people were hurt.
"It wasn't very high but it was obviously high enough for them to cause some quite serious injuries to the people that were on the rollercoaster.
"They literally had come back off and round the back of a loop, and straight into another empty coach that had been stuck.
"There was a big crash, and I think there were quite a few people that were angry cos they said that they had told the staff that the coach before had stopped but they hadn't actually called through."
The Smiler ride
Sixteen pople were in one of the carriages
Merlin Entertainment, which runs the resort, said in a statement: "There has been an incident on the Smiler this afternoon involving two carriages coming together on a low section of the track. One of the carriages was empty and the other had 16 guests in.
"The Resort's fully qualified First Responders were on the scene immediately to assist with the evacuation which is ongoing, and the area has been closed to allow for access to emergency services vehicles."

14-loop rollercoaster

The Smiler opened in May 2013 and is billed as the world's first 14-loop rollercoaster.
It holds the official Guinness World Record for most loops in a rollercoaster, according to the Alton Towers website.
The resort claims it features "a series of twisted psychological effects including optical illusions, blinding lights and near misses designed to mess with your mind".
There have been several accidents and incidents involving the £18m ride since it opened in May 2013.

'Left dangling'

A group of 16 journalists were left dangling on it at a steep angle as they tried out the rollercoaster before it opened to the public.
The ride shut for four days in July 2013 after a piece fell off the track, and 48 people had to be rescued.
It closed again in August 2013 for five days due to a "technical issue".
In November 2013 it closed for five days after wheels fell off and hit four people in the front carriage.
The injured people were looked after by park staff and did not need treatment by the ambulance service, a spokeswoman said at the time.
Riders were also left stranded in the air when the ride ground to a halt at the top of a near vertical section 14 months ago.
It its statement Merlin Entertainment added there would be a "full investigation once we have recovered the guests who are our priority."

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