Alton Towers to reopen Smiler today for the first time since crash

General view of the Smiler Credit: ITV News Central

Alton Tower's flagship rollercoaster is to reopen for the first time today.

The controversial ride closed last June after a crash in which 16 people were injured, five seriously.

Two passengers, Leah Washington and Vicky Balch had to have one of their legs amputated after the collision at the park in Staffordshire nine months ago.

Joe Pugh suffered two shattered knee caps and Daniel Thorpe had injuries to his lower legs.

Yesterday Vicky told ITV News that the decision to reopen the ride was "inappropriate and insensitive", though she added that she understands the park is a business and bosses are doing "what they have to do."

An investigation by the park found that the crash had been caused by 'human error.'

Since the crash, the park has experienced a drop in visitor numbers and cut around 100 jobs. Earlier this week the company reassured visitors that their rides are safe.

The park has experienced a drop in visitor numbers since the crash Credit: PA

The Health & Safety Executive announced last month that it would be prosecuting the park's owner, Merlin Entertainments, for breaking Health & Safety Law. Bosses are due to appear at the North Staffordshire Justice Centre in April.