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Roller Coaster Accident Prosecution Announced

25 February 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

Merlin Attractions which owns Alton Towers, the scene of the Smiler rollercoaster accident which left five people seriously injured, is to face prosecution in April.

A statement posted on the Health & Safety Executive's Twitter feed says: 'We have today informed Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd that it will be prosecuted for breaching health and safety law.

'This was a serious incident with life-changing consequences for five people.

'We have conducted a very thorough investigation and consider that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to bring a prosecution'.

Merlin will appear at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on 22 April.



The accident happened last June. Merlin's own investigation said it was the result of human error. It resulted in five serious injuries. Two young women, Leah Washington and Victoria Balch, both suffered leg amputations.

The investigation concluded that there had been a manual override of the ride safety control system without the appropriate protocols being followed. The investigation also identified areas where protocols and the training of employees should be improved. No technical or mechanical problems with the ride itself were found.

Picture: The Smiler ride has been closed since June and is due to re-open this year

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 25 February 2016


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