Alton Towers owner to be prosecuted over Smiler crash


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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