Alton Towers owners dismiss Smiler faults as ‘teething problems’

The Guardian reports the theme park’s owners refuse to say when attraction will reopen and say they will ‘dig deep’ into causes of accident that left four people injured.

The owners of Alton Towers have dismissed as “teething problems” well-publicised faults on its Smiler rollercoaster ride that occurred before an accident on Tuesday left four people with serious injuries.

Nick Varney, the chief executive of Merlin Entertainments, which runs the Staffordshire attraction, said it would “dig deep into trying to find the causes of an accident that frankly shouldn’t have happened”.

The theme park was closed on Wednesday and its owners have refused to say when it will reopen after 16 riders were rescued from 25ft up in the air at an angle of about 45 degrees.

But speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Varney said he did not accept the Smiler ride had been riddled with problems.

The incident is not the first involving the Smiler, which has been closed on two occasions because of safety concerns since opening two years ago. The ride, which features a world record-breaking 14 loops, was closed in July 2013 after reports that a bolt was seen to have fallen from the ride, and in November that year was closed after plastic guard wheels came loose and hit front-row riders.

Read more at The Guardian

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