Tuesday 24th November 2015
Today Alton Towers Resort have released an official press statement regarding the cause of the Smiler accident that happened on 2nd June 2015. Following the crash of the rollercoaster the park was closed for a number of days so all attractions could be checked over.
Park visitor numbers dropped dramatically as a result of the crash and Merlin has lost millions in profits and has led to 190 job cuts at the Alton Towers Resort. The root cause of the incident was “The result of human error culminating in the manual override of the ride safety control system without the appropriate protocols being followed.”
During the past few months the park has received a lot of bad press as a result of the accident with people asking are rollercoasters safe? During the press statement the park said “There were found to be no technical or mechanical problems with the ride itself.” Proving that the accident happened as a result of someone’s actions not that rollercoasters are not safe. All rides and attractions have fail safes and this proves that all of them where working at the time of the accident.
The ride has been closed to guests since June and will re-open during 2016. We suspect that the ride will open slightly later in the day to allow for more checks to be done to the ride before allowing guests on.
News on the park confirming the cause of the accident can also be found on the BBC and The Sun.
Full statement from Alton Towers Resort:
The investigation concluded that the incident was the result of human error culminating in the manual override of the ride safety control system without the appropriate protocols being followed. The investigation also identified areas where protocols and the training of employees should be improved. There were found to be no technical or mechanical problems with the ride itself.
Immediately following the incident, the theme park implemented a number of improved safety measures across all multi-car rollercoasters to ensure that an incident of this nature can never happen again. On re-opening, The Smiler ride will also incorporate an extensive set of new safety measures, including technical improvements and enhanced training. An additional level of authorisation will also be added to the existing supervisory protocols to ensure that no manual override process may be completed without a senior member of staff authorising and being in attendance. The technical improvements include multiple additional CCTV cameras and additional manual reset buttons around the track which require staff to inspect each individual section to verify it is clear before authorisation can be given to restart the ride.
“Alton Towers continues to provide help and support to all of those who were on the ride when the incident happened. It has taken full responsibility for the incident and continues to co-operate with the on-going Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation. We are confident that lessons have been learned and that appropriate action has been taken to address all the issues raised by our investigation and we believe our core conclusions will be in line with the HSE findings.
Having completed all of the necessary steps, the ride, which has been closed to the public since June, will re-open in 2016