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"Has somebody lost a limb on that ride?" - Over 1,000 complaints about Kay Burley interview

The Sky News presenter was accused of ‘misrepresenting’ the CEO of Merlin Entertainment.

Source: WorldViral/YouTube

OVER 1,000 PEOPLE have complained about the conduct of Sky News presenter Kay Burley during an interview with the chief executive of the owners of Alton Towers.

The UK’s broadcasting regulator says that 1,162 complaints have been received about the interview which was broadcast the day after the rollercoaster crash that seriously injured four people.

Speaking live to Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin Entertainment, Burley pushed him to confirm press speculation that one of those injured had lost a limb in the accident on The Smiler rollercoaster:

People were seriously injured and there are suggestions that someone’s lost a limb as a result of what happened at Alton Towers. Has somebody lost a limb on that ride?

“I’m not going to comment on those press speculations, all I’m going to say is that we are deeply sorry for what happened,” he responded.

Burley: “Sir, I’m sure they’re not interested in your sympathy. They went to have a fantastic day and they have potentially lost a limb. You won’t tell us if they have or not.”

Varney: ”With all due respect, to be telling you stuff like that, that is personal information to those personal individual and their families.”

News emerged on Monday that one of the victims in the crash was required to have her leg amputated above the knee.

During the course of the 14 minute interview, Varney also told the presenter that other rides similar in operation, and made by the same company as The Smiler, have been closed subject to an investigation into the crash.

On initial investigations into the crash, he said it appeared that “a rather unique set of circumstances made a contributory factor in The Smiler accident.”

He says that Merlin Entertainment has entertained “hundreds of millions of people” over many years and have “stringent safety controls”.

An “extra-layer” of procedures has now been put in place in a number of rides, he said.

At least four times during the interview, Burley put it to him that this means their rides were not safe before.

“People were going on rides that were not safe enough,” Burley said.

“No that’s not true, you keep on saying that,” Varney replied… “you’re misrepresenting what I’m saying.”

A spokesperson for Ofcom has said that they will be looking into complaints about the interview.

“Ofcom has received 1,162 complaints about Kay Burley’s interview with Alton Towers chief executive Nick Varney on Sky News on 3 June. We will assess these complaints before deciding whether to investigate or not.”

The full interview is available below:

Source: Sky News/YouTube

Read: Alton Towers apologises for ‘devastating’ crash that left four people with ‘significant’ injuries >

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

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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