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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 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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