logo-loader
viewMerlin Entertainments

Merlin Entertainments fined £5mln for Alton Towers roller coaster crash

Victims told Stafford Crown Court how they watched in “horror” before they ploughed into an empty carriage that had stopped on the track midway around the 14-loop ride.

Alton Towers rollercoaster
Two teenagers needed leg amputations following the crash.

Theme park operator Merlin Entertainments PLC (LON:MER) has been fined £5mln for the Smiler rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers that saw sixteen people injured in June last year.

The crash on the £18mln ride resulted in two teenagers needing leg amputations.

Victims told Stafford Crown Court how they watched in “horror” before they ploughed into an empty carriage that had stopped on the track midway around the 14-loop ride. Prosecution likened the impact to a 90mph car crash.

The court heard that an engineer “felt pressured” to get the ride back into service after it developed a fault during a busy period.

In April, Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd admitted breaching the Health and Safety Act.

Alton Towers theme park in Staffordshire, England, initially blamed the crash on human error, but prosecutors argued the fault was with the employer and not individuals.

Judge Michael Chambers QC ruled the crash as a "catastrophic failure" and said human error was indeed not the cause.

"This was a needless and avoidable accident in which those who were injured were lucky not to be killed,” said Chambers.

Merlin chief executive Nick Varney stressed the firm was not an emotionless corporate entity.

"In this context, the far greater punishment for all of us is knowing that on this occasion we let people down with devastating consequences," he said.

"It is something we will never forget and it is something we are utterly determined will never be repeated."

The Smiler rollercoaster was back up and running in March this year. It is described on the Alton Towers website as “the biggest ever investment for a ride at the resort” and promises “a complete physical and mental assault on riders”.

Quick facts: Merlin Entertainments

Price: - -

AIM:MERL
Market: AIM
Market Cap: -
Follow

Add related topics to MyProactive

Create your account: sign up and get ahead on news and events

NO INVESTMENT ADVICE

The Company is a publisher. You understand and agree that no content published on the Site constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is...

FOR OUR FULL DISCLAIMER CLICK HERE

Watch

iCoreConnect cloud-based software is a real game changer in healthcare

iCoreConnect (OTCQB: ICCT) President and CEO Robert McDermott joined Steve Darling from Proactive to discuss the company that provides HIPAA-compliant software for the medical and dental industries. McDermott discusses a few of their services, their recent revenue growth and why listing on...

14 hours, 43 minutes ago

2 min read