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  1. National

Alton Towers crash ride reopens

Alton Towers rollercoaster Smiler has reopened, eight months after 20-year-old Vicky Balch lost a leg when it crashed.

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Miss Balch described the decision to reopen the ride to the public this weekend as "inappropriate and insensitive".

The owner of Alton Towers is to be prosecuted over crash in which five people were seriously injured, the Health and Safety Executive announced last month.

Today social media users reported "enthusiastic" crowds queued to get a ride on Smiler.

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Smiler crash survivors present cheque to Midlands Air Ambulance

Two people who were seriously injured on the Smiler rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers last year have handed over a cheque to the Midlands Air Ambulance.

Leah Washington and Joe Pugh presented the cheque for more than £8701.10 to the service which helped save their lives after the crash last year.

The couple suffered severe leg injuries in the crash, with Leah having to have a leg amputated.

Three other passengers were also seriously injured.

  1. Chris Halpin

Smiler crash survivors criticise ride’s reopening

A woman who lost her leg in the Alton Towers Smiler rollercoaster crash has accused the park of putting money before the people affected by the accident in its decision to reopen the ride tomorrow.

Vicky Balch was one of five passengers seriously injured in the crash on The Smiler last June.

Leah Washington also lost a leg and Joe Pugh, her boyfriend, shattered his knees. Both say they don't want to see the ride operating again. Alton Towers says the accident was caused by human error, and that the Smiler has been certified as safe. Chris Halpin reports.

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