1. National

Live updates: Alton Towers owner fined £5 million over Smiler ride crash

Alton Towers operator Merlin Attractions has been fined £5 million at Stafford Crown Court after admitting health and safety breaches over The Smiler rollercoaster crash.

The crash left two teenagers needing leg amputations, and several other victims with serious injuries.

Several victims of the crash were in court, where the hearing was told the force of the rash was equivalent to a family car crashing at 90mph.

View all 12 updates ›

Alton Towers £5m fine 'record for the industry'

The £5m fine handed to Alton Towers operator Merlin over last year's Smiler rollercoaster crash is believed to be a record for the industry, a solicitor acting on behalf of eight of the victims has said.

Paul Paxton said the end of the two-day sentencing hearing marks the "closure" of a "long and painful chapter" for the victims, two of whom required leg amputations.

Despite the fine, for what the judge described as an "easily avoidable accident", Mr Paxton added that "money alone will never replace limbs nor heal the psychological scars".

Speaking outside Stafford Crown Court, he said: "It's worth remembering that this hearing is the first time that my clients have heard the full extent of the criticisms against Merlin.

"To be candid, they have been shocked and disappointed by the catalogue of errors. The list goes on and on: a catastrophic failure to assess risk, inadequate training, inadequate supervision, inadequate management, failure to communicate (and a) failure to put in place safe systems of work."

More on this story