Alton Towers has been fined £5,000,000 (five million pounds) following a court hearing on the 26th September 2016. This was in response to the devastating ‘Smiler’ rollercoaster disaster of June 2015 which saw two teenagers requiring amputations and many other riders needing urgent medical attention.
The £18 million ride smashed into a dormant cart, causing life changing injuries to many of the passengers on board.
The two day hearing spans two days for the 26th and 27th September which was long awaited to fine Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd. after their admission of breaching health and safety guidelines.
Barrister Bernard Thorogood stated the kinetic energy created in the crash was equivalent to ‘a family car of 1.5 tons having collided at about 90mph’.
The barrister then quoted those on the front of the ride, who recalled helplessly watching themselves speed towards to dormant cart before the collision, before adding that the fault led with the management within Merlin, not the workers themselves.
Vicky Balch was in attendance, alongside some of the other injured passengers including the couple Joe Pugh and Leah Washington, and also Chandaben Chauhan who was on a girls holiday with her two daughters.