HSE to prosecute Alton Towers’ after ‘Smiler’ incident

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed that it will prosecute the owners of Alton Towers over an incident in which five people were seriously injured on a rollercoaster ride at Alton Towers in Staffordshire.

In June 2015, two passengers riding on the ‘Smiler’ rollercoaster suffered leg amputations and three others were also seriously injured when their carriage collided with a stationary carriage on the same track.

Neil Craig, head of operations for HSE in the Midlands 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.”

Forbes comment

The owners of Alton Towers, Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd are alleged to have breached Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, which states that it is the duty of the employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment are not exposed to risks to their health or safety. Full details of the allegations have not been provided. The HSE conducted an immediate investigation of the accident, and in November 2015 Merlin released a press release stating the accident was a consequence of “human error”. It is understood that no technical or mechanical issues were found on the ride. We will report further following the hearing later this year.

Sarah Wilkinson

About Sarah Wilkinson

Solicitor in the Insurance department
This entry was posted in Regulatory.

2 responses to HSE to prosecute Alton Towers’ after ‘Smiler’ incident

  1. sean lindsell says:

    Do you and the HSE think this was human error? and how long is your investigation going to take.

  2. Sarah Wilkinson says:

    According to the HSE website, the Alton Towers owners’ have pleaded guilty to safety failings. This is the link to the relevant HSE webpage: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/hse-statement-alton-towers-owners-plead-guilty-to-safety-failings/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *