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Alton Tower operators prepare for massive fine

The collision on the Smiler rollercoaster was described as like a family car crashing at 90 miles an hour in court.

Five passengers suffered life-changing injuries on th ride at Alton Towers theme park last summer.

Vicky Balch from Leyland, who was 19 at the time, was one of two young women who each had to have a leg amputated.

Today, the Alton Towers operator appeared before the crown court in Stafford for sentencing. Our correspondent Elaine Willcox sent this from court:

Merlin is 'a good organisation that made a serious failure'

Credit: CCTV footage

Alton Towers, barrister Simon Antrobus said the company's top executives had accepted responsibility for the crash from the day it happened, and had apologised.

He added: "(The company) accepts its responsibility that this should never have happened and accepted that the accident was attributable to failures that, while they were never intended, would have been avoidable with greater care."

Describing Merlin as "the most reputable operator in this field", he added that the firm employed 8,000 staff across 11 different sites - with more than 120 individual rides - serving 16 million visitors a year.

Mr Antrobus said: "It's a good organisation that made a serious failure, but is one that is of otherwise good character."

Asked by the judge if anyone had resigned as a result of the crash, Mr Antrobus replied: "No."


Liverpool FC's strange new signing

Liverpool have got themselves a brand new number 11 in Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown.

The 12 year old actress who plays Eleven in the Netflix show posted her appreciation of the gesture on Twitter.

Millie told LFC: "When I was younger, my dad got me a whole Liverpool kit. I didn’t really have a choice! Now I watch them and I love Liverpool. I watch the games. When I’m in America, it is like 4am and we’re watching the game."

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