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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019
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Alton Towers apologises for 'devastating' crash that left four people with 'significant' injuries

A number of rollercoasters have been closed as a result.

THE SMILER ROLLERCOASTER at Alton Towers – which was involved in a major accident on Tuesday – is set to be closed for “the foreseeable future”.

Four people were seriously injured after a collision between two carriages on the rollercoaster at the Alton Towers Resort in Staffordshire.

Emergency services said two men (18, 27) and two women (19, 17) sustained “significant” leg injuries in the incident.

It has since emerged that emergency services were not called until 11 minutes after the incident, according to the BBC.

Merlin Entertainments, which runs both Alton Towers and Thorpe Park, said The Saw rollerscoaster at the latter will also be closed while “an additional set of safety protocols and procedures” are introduced.

Two further rides at Chessington World of Adventures, also in Surrey and run by Merlin – Dragon’s Fury and Rattlesnake – are being taken out of service too.

The company’s chief executive, Nick Varney, said the experience has been “devastating”.

This has been a terrible experience for everyone involved and one we sincerely regret. Our thoughts remain with those who were seriously injured and we are doing everything we can to support them through this difficult time. It is an accident that should not have happened, and we are determined that it will never happen again.

“Whilst the investigation into the causes is continuing, we have identified a series of additional safety protocols that we are implementing immediately across our multi-car rollercoasters. These will act as an additional safeguard to further strengthen our operating and safety standards. This has been a devastating experience, and we are committed to learning the lessons from it.”

A statement released by the company said:

The safety of our visitors is our fundamental priority. We have a strong safety record at Alton Towers and across the Merlin Group. Today we are enhancing our safety standards by issuing an additional set of safety protocols and procedures that will reinforce the safe operation of our multi-car rollercoasters. These are effective immediately.

Here’s a video of the type of rollercoaster on which the accident happened:

Source: coasterollie/YouTube

The Smiler opened in May 2013 and holds the official Guinness World Record for most loops in a rollercoaster, according to the Alton Towers website. It reaches a speed of 52 miles per hour.

The Alton Towers venue is currently closed while an investigation is underway. One analyst has estimated the park could be losing £500,000 for every day it stays closed.

One man, three teenagers seriously injured after collision on Alton Towers rollercoaster

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Órla Ryan

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