Alton Towers owner to face court charges for horror smash last year

Theme park operator to be prosecuted

Smiler rollercoaster 2013

Assistance arrives for stranded passengers on The Smiler ride, during a separate incident on it’s launch day in 2013

Merlin, the owner of the Alton Towers theme park, will be taken to court over the accident on the Smiler rollercoaster which left five customers injured.

Two women lost a leg and another three people were seriously injured when the carriage they were travelling in slammed into a stationary carriage on the rollercoaster.

Human error was the cause of the crash in June last year after investigators found no mechanical problems and discovered a worker had conducted a “manual override of the safety control system”.

The hearing will be on 22 April in North Staffordshire.

Neil Craig, head of operations for The Health and Safety Executive in the Midlands, said: “We have today informed Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd that it will be prosecuted for breaching health and safety law.

“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.”

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