Saturday, August 20

Alton Towers And Other Parks Close Major Rides



Four rollercoasters across three of the UK’s biggest theme parks are to close “for the foreseeable future” following a serious crash at Alton Towers on Tuesday.

The Smiler, which left four people with “significant lower limb injuries” after two carriages collided earlier this week, will remain shut when Alton Towers reopens to the public “within the next few days”.

It has also been confirmed that Saw, a similar rollercoaster at Thorpe Park, will be closed indefinitely.

Meanwhile, at Chessington World of Adventures, a further two rides – Dragon’s Fury and Rattlesnake – are being taken out of service.

According to Merlin Entertainments, which runs all three theme parks, the closures are while “an additional set of safety protocols and procedures” are introduced.

The company’s chief executive, Nick Varney, added: “This has been a devastating experience, and we are committed to learning the lessons from it.”

Meanwhile, the two rides at Chessington World of Adventures were built by another German firm, called Maurer.

Visitors to Thorpe Park in recent days had complained on Twitter about the closure of Saw, which has been withdrawn from service since Tuesday.

Two other rides at the Surrey attraction, Colossus and Stealth, have also been closed today for “unrelated” reasons.

Merlin Entertainments is losing £500,000 in revenue for every day that Alton Towers remains closed.

Yesterday, it was confirmed that there was an 11-minute delay before 999 were called after The Smiler crash. Alton Towers had previously claimed the emergency services were “called immediately”.

The Smiler, which cost an estimated £18m to build, had been closed twice before because of safety concerns – and boasts a world record for being the rollercoaster with the most loops.