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February 25, 2016

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Alton Towers owners to face prosecution

Smiler rollercoaster at Alton Towers, picture courtesy of @WMAS (West Midlands Ambulance Service)

Smiler rollercoaster at Alton Towers, picture courtesy of @WMAS (West Midlands Ambulance Service)

The owner of Alton Towers is to be prosecuted after a rollercoaster crash last year, which left five people seriously injured.

Victoria Balch and Leah Washington had their legs amputated after the crash on 2 June 2015, when the Smiler rollercoaster ride hit an empty carriage in front of it.

An investigation by the park found that staff misunderstood a shutdown message and wrongly restarted the ride.

Merlin Attractions Operation Ltd will appear at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on 22 April. It will face a charge under the Health and Safety at Work etc 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.”

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