Alton Towers owner to be prosecuted over Smiler crash

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The owners of Alton Towers are to be prosecuted over the Smiler rollercoaster crash, which left five people injured.

Two theme park visitors lost a leg and three others were seriously injured when their carriage collided with a stationary carriage on the ride in 2015.

Merlin Attractions Operation Ltd, which owns Alton Towers, will appear at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on April 22.

It will face a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Neil Craig, head of operations for the Health and Safety Executive in the Midlands, said: “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.”

Vicky Balch, 20, from Lancashire, had her leg amputed.

Leah Washington, 17, from Barnsley, had her leg amputated, while her 18-year-old boyfriend, Joe Pugh, shattered his knees.

Daniel Thorpe, 27, from Buxton, Derbyshire, was treated for a collapsed lung and lower leg injuries.

Another passenger, Chanda Chauhan, 49, from Wednesbury, had surgery after suffering internal injuries.

Alton Towers conducted a preliminary investigation and said human error caused the crash.

 

 

 

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