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Alton Towers owner Merlin fined £5m over Smiler crash

Several passengers were seriously injured in the crash on June 2 last year.

Alton Towers operator Merlin Attractions has been fined £5 million after admitting health and safety failings which led to the Smiler rollercoaster crash.

Two teenagers - Vicky Balch, then 19, and Leah Washington, then 17 - each lost a leg in the collision in June last year which "changed the lives of some of those injured in the most dramatic way", according to a judge.

Stafford Crown Court heard that the victims had watched with "disbelief and horror" before ploughing into an empty carriage on the track, with the impact likened by the prosecution to a 90mph car crash.

The company was fined after the court heard that an engineer "felt pressure" to get Smiler back into service after it developed a fault shortly before the devastating crash.


Alton Towers: Human error not the cause of Smiler crash

Human error was not the cause of last year's Smiler rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers, a judge has said.

On the second day of a two-day sentencing hearing at Stafford Crown Court, the judge also said the crash was a "needless and avoidable accident" caused by a "catastrophic failure" of safety.

Theme park operator Merlin is facing a large fine for health and safety failings, which led to two teenage girls needing leg amputations.

ITV News Correspondent Ben Chapman has the latest from court:


Trump: 'I enjoyed debate. Polls say I'm winning'

Donald Trump told ITV News he thought his performance at the first head-to-head presidential debate against Hillary Clinton was "great".

Asked whether he had been dealt a fair hand, the Republican nominee replied: "Yeah, I think so. I think it was a fair debate. I enjoyed it".

And when ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore suggested the debate had not been Trump's finest hour, the billionaire tycoon insisted he was happy with his performance.

"I thought it was great. No, I think we did great. Every poll has me winning", he said.

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