Health and Safety Executive to prosecute Alton Towers’ owners

Merlin Attractions Operation Ltd will be prosecuted by the HSE following Alton Towers accident

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced that it will be taking legal action against the owners of the Alton Towers theme park following the horrific accident which occurred at the Staffordshire site in summer last year.

The HSE announced its decision on February 25 after it had informed Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd of its intention to prosecute the company for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act etc, 1974, which states:

“It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”

The accident which left five people seriously injured took place on June 2, 2015, when a carriage full of theme park visitors crashed into a stationary carriage on the ‘Smiler’ rollercoaster ride. Two young women who were sat on the front row of the carriage had to have their legs amputated as a result of the crash.

Health and Safety Executive to prosecute Alton Towers' owners

The ‘Smiler’ ride at Alton Towers

Merlin Attractions Operation Ltd, which also owns Thorpe Park, the London Eye and Madame Tussauds, will appear at North Staffordshire Justice Centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme on April 22, 2016.

Following the accident in summer last year, Alton Towers was closed for four days and bosses confirmed a significant decrease in the number of visitors to the theme park when it reopened. Despite this, the group still managed to make a pre-tax profit of 0.3% in 2015.

Neil Craig, head of operations for the Midlands HSE, said: “This was a serious incident with life-changing consequences for five people. We have conducted a very thorough investigation and consider that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to bring a prosecution.”

Please follow this link to find out more about our health and safety services.