Four people in their twenties have been seriously injured following an incident involving two ride trains on The Smiler shortly after 2pm this afternoon (Tuesday 2nd June 2015).
Occurring on the batwing element of the ride, the incident involved two trains colliding, with one train carrying 16 guests impacting with an unoccupied train which it appeared had stalled. Early reports from the scene stated that there were 14 people injured on the occupied train, with 4 of those – 2 males and 2 females – sustaining serious, crush-type, leg injuries. The park immediately dispatched their community first responders, with four land ambulances, four air ambulances, and specialist trauma doctors also responding to the incident. A platform was constructed by the fire and rescue service to assist emergency services in accessing those trapped in the train which was 25ft in the air and at an angle of 45 degrees.
Emergency services confirmed that the four most seriously injured had been transported to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire and Royal Stoke University Hospital to receive specialist attention, having been trapped in the trains for some time. The other twelve occupants of the train suffered minor injuries which were treated at the scene and are believed to have been classed as walking wounded.
In a statement issued at around 6:30pm, Ian Crabbe, Divisional Director at Alton Towers said:
“May I first say that my colleagues and I are devastated by what has happened here today, and our only priority at this time is to work with the emergency services to get the 16 people affected off the ride safely, and most importantly those who are injured are being cared for.
“Our concern is with and for them and for their safety, and all our thoughts and efforts are focused on them.
“A full investigation is under way, and representatives of the Health and Safety Executive are already on site and working with us.”
The Resort have confirmed that the park will remain closed on Wednesday 3rd June whilst both the resort and Health and Safety executive conduct investigations into why the incident occurred. When the park re-opens, it is thought X-Sector will remain closed until further notice. Some guests at the park reported that the ride had been affected by technical issues earlier in the day, however at this time there is nothing to link these issues with the incident. The Resort have set up a helpline for anyone concerned about relatives involved in the incident: 0800 056 0154
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