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Smiler crash 'equivalent of family car crashing at 90mph'

The Smiler ride at Alton Towers has since been closed. Credit: PA

The force of the Smiler rollercoaster crash was equivalent to a family car crashing at 90mph, a court heard.

Those who were injured were all sat on the front row of the ride - which had already experienced a fault that day.

Despite another ride closing due to high winds, Smiler stayed open.

Prosecutors said it was likely the 46mph winds which caused the carriage to stall.

But it was "human errors" which left two teenagers needing leg amputations and several others seriously hurt.

Alton Towers owners Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd have been told to expect a "very large fine" after admitting health and safety breaches.

They are expected to be sentenced on Tuesday.

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Smiler crash victims arrive at court ahead of sentencing

Joe Pugh and Leah Washington (holding hands) and Vicky Balch (in red dress). Credit: ITV News

Victims of the Smiler rollercoaster crash have arrived at court ahead of the ride's operator being sentenced for health and safety breaches.

Joe Pugh and Leah Washington were pictured along with Vicky Balch, who now has to wear a prosthetic leg.

Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd have been told to expect a "very large fine" after admitting charges at an earlier hearing.

The two-day sentencing is taking place at Stafford Crown Court.

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Alton Towers looking to get Smiler ride back up and running 'as soon as possible'

Photo of the Smiler ride Credit: Liam Dennett

In response to someone asking if the Smiler will be open today, Alton Towers Resort said on Twitter:

Smiler ride incident: "My son still wants to go on it, but I wouldn't go on it personally now"

Photos of the Smiler Ride incident Credit: Liam Dennett

Liam Dennett, 33, from Cheltenham, was in the queue for the Smiler ride when an announcement was made about a "technical fault".

He posted videos on Facebook showing the people stuck on the rollercoaster.

Mr Dennett said:

The ride's still closed now. We can see it in the distance that it's still closed. I would say between 30 and probably 35/40 minutes that they were stuck for.

My son still wants to go on it, but I wouldn't go on it personally now," he said.

– Liam Dennett
Photos of the Smiler Ride incident Credit: Liam Dennett

Alton Towers working to resolve Smiler break down

Alton Towers has said it hopes the Smiler ride will be up and running as soon as possible, after video emerged showing passengers suspended in mid-air.

Reports suggest some passengers were left dangling for up to half an hour.

Little over a year ago five people were seriously injured when two cars crashed into each other.

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