Staff failing to blame for rollercoaster crash that seriously injured five people, Merlin Entertainments says at it announces ride will reopen in 2016.
The horrific crash on The Smiler rollercoaster at Alton Towers that seriously injured five people was caused by “human error”, an investigation has concluded.
Announcing that the ride – the world’s first 14-loop rollercoaster – will reopen next year, theme park owner Merlin Entertainments said a probe found there were no technical or mechanical problems.
The company said the rollercoaster crashed, leaving passengers trapped nearly 30ft off the ground for hours, because the attraction’s safety control system had been manually overridden without the proper checks being followed.
It meant a mechanism that would have prevented the carriage from smashing into an empty stationary one in front – that had earlier been sent out for tests – was deactivated before the incident in the summer.
A safeguard on the German-built ride sees automatic brakes kick in when another carriage is detected by sensors on the same section of track.
But a worker is understood to have engaged a manual override of the safety system, allowing the carriage with passengers on board to continue on the track and crash.