Alton Towers cites ‘human error’ in Smiler crash

The Smiler

Alton Towers has determined that “human error” was to blame for the Smiler rollercoaster crash which seriously injured five people earlier this year.

The Staffordshire theme park’s internal investigation into the 2 June accident has now been concluded, a statement released today said.

“The investigation concluded that the incident was the result of human error culminating in the manual override of the ride safety control system without the appropriate protocols being followed.

“The investigation also identified areas where protocols and the training of employees should be improved.”

The statement added: “There were found to be no technical or mechanical problems with the ride itself.”

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)’s is still independently investigating the incident, but it is widely expected to prosecute operators Merlin Entertainments in due course.

Alton Towers said that it had initiated “HR procedures” against affected staff, but that any outcome would be a “private matter” between the park and “any individual concerned”.

The park today confirmed that the Smiler will re-open with improved safety measures in 2016.