Tragic Crash on the Smiler Ride at Alton Towers

Thrill riders’ worst nightmares came true yesterday when four people were reported as being been seriously injured on the Smiler rollercoaster ride at Alton Towers and were airlifted to the Royal Stoke Hospital and University Hospital Coventry. It has been alleged in many newspaper articles that the rollercoaster, which cost a whopping £18m and which is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most loops according to Alton Towers’ Website, had suffered technical difficulties before the crash. The whole park is closed today whilst investigations are carried out. This is a terrible accident and our thoughts are with everyone involved directly and indirectly in this awful incident.

It was reported by Ian Crabbe, the divisional director at Alton Towers that the park’s first response team arrived at the stricken Smiler ride within minutes of the accident occurring and that a full investigation is now underway, with the Health and Safety Executive working on the case.

It has been reported by Sky News that a visitor to the park said she had been told by staff shortly before the accident that there had been “technical issues” with the Smiler before the crash happened that day, however this is unconfirmed.

The ride which was opened in May of 2013 has already is alleged to have had a chequered history since its opening.

A spokesperson from the West Midlands Ambulance Service who were at Alton Towers following the crash stated that the occupants of the ride were stuck 25ft up in the air at a 45 degree angle.

Before we go any further, we wish to point out that these sorts of rides are largely safe. Accidents very rarely happen and each ride goes through extremely rigorous testing.

What Duties do Occupiers owe to their Visitors?

All occupiers of premises owe a duty to their visitors. Lawful visitors have protection under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957.

Under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957, occupiers of premises are under a legal obligation to:

  • Examine, maintain and inspect the land and equipment on their premises
  • Institute or operate an adequate regime of inspection, maintenance and repair
  • Warn lawful visitors of dangerous or defective equipment

People we have helped

Thankfully, the occupier’s liability claims that we have dealt with are not as dramatic or headline grabbing as being stuck on a fairground ride in such terrible circumstances. We have, however, helped many people over the years claim against occupiers of premises where injury has been caused to their visitors, the effect of which has been to cause pain and distress to those people who have visited unsafe premises.

Here are details of just a few of the people we have helped:

  • An elderly lady who fractured her elbow as she entered a dimly lit hall to watch a show at a holiday park who lost her footing on a raised slope that was not lit up and clearly visible. We recovered £36,000 for our client’s injuries and losses.
  • A mother who was dining with her young daughter at a well-known UK holiday destination who slipped on water on the floor caused by a leaky roof. Our client was awarded £5,500 for her injuries and losses.
  • A client who was staying at a chalet on holiday and slipped on wet floor outside a shower cubicle injuring her wrist. Our client was awarded £5,000 for her injuries and losses.
  • A client who was walking on the decking area outside a bar at a holiday park and slipped on decking due to hazards on the decking. Our client was awarded £9,000.

If you have had an accident on business owned premises and think that you should have been given more protection, call us to see if we can help you. We can normally tell you straight away whether you have a claim. We offer no-nonsense, easy to understand advice and we work on a no win no fee basis, so you have nothing to lose!

Try our Claimometer or phone us directly on 0800 025 00 00.

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