Alton Towers operator Merlin Attractions fined £5m over health and safety failings

Fine comes after admitting health and safety breaches concerning Smiler rollercoaster crash

The operators of Alton Towers, Merlin Attractions, have been fined £5m, after admitting health and safety failings, following the Smiler rollercoaster crash last year, which left sixteen people injured.

Leah Washington, who was seventeen at the time and Vicky Balch, then aged nineteen, both lost a leg as a result of the crash, which happened in June 2015.

Merlin Attractions were given the fine, after the court was told that an engineer ‘felt pressure’ to get the rollercoaster serviceable again, after it had developed a problem not long before the accident occurred.

Alton Towers operator Merlin Attractions fined £5 for health and safety breaches

The Smiler rollercoaster at Alton Towers that crashed last year

The accident was described by Judge Michael Chambers QC, as a “catastrophic failure” by Merlin Attractions, over fundamental health and safety measures.

The Judge said that the accident could have easily been avoided if a suitable written health and safety system had been put in place to deal with faults occurring on rides, along with the correct risk assessment.

He went on to say that all sixteen people on the ride at the time of the accident, were “injured to various degrees” and that health and safety failures by the company, had put the safety of thousands of children and young people at risk.

According to the owner of Alton Towers, the number of visitors have remained low since the accident happened last June.

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