UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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DeadJack5
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:06 am

I don't know if anyone has asked this but.

What happens now in this sort of situation?
 
Screech
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:29 am

Everybody preys fit the 4 majorly injured
 
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Tom170499
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:35 am

Themeparksandy1981 wrote:
I think when it does open again it won't be able to Duel again and with the testing they will have to fill them with test bodies every time. I think for respect as well it should be renamed as the Smiler isn't what people are doing at the moment. Even the theme music will need to go. Now if the Runaway mine train was closed from July to the start of the new season and another few months later to it was back to it's full length again then I can't see the Smiler opening again this year and I think to H&S have finished there report and the 2 trains removed from the track you won't see Oblivion and Enterprise in use neither.


The Runaway Mine Train was closed for so long because the whole train needed refurbishing. I don't think this will be the case with The Smiler as only 2/5 trains have been involved.
 
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TheBeast
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:40 am

Themeparksandy1981 wrote:
I think when it does open again it won't be able to Duel again and with the testing they will have to fill them with test bodies every time. I think for respect as well it should be renamed as the Smiler isn't what people are doing at the moment. Even the theme music will need to go. Now if the Runaway mine train was closed from July to the start of the new season and another few months later to it was back to it's full length again then I can't see the Smiler opening again this year and I think to H&S have finished there report and the 2 trains removed from the track you won't see Oblivion and Enterprise in use neither.


How exactly can they retheme it though? The whole ride is based around the Marmaliser, and that would have to go if the theme went. Merlin will have lost enough money with this incident...I dont think they will want to lose any more. I doubt they will run more than three cars at once now, just for assurance more than anything for the GP.

Deadjack5 wrote:
What happens now in this sort of situation?


Nick Varney stated in a BBC interview the park would remain closed until they knew fully what had happened. Its pretty much a waiting game now, we can only speculate what is going on down there, although I have no doubts that they will be doing their best at it

Given, I know this and several other incidents have occurred, but I would like to defend Gerstlauer to be honest. We dont know why the second car was sent once it had stopped, but every ride has some performance issues some time or another. Take Rita and Thirteen for example. There have been times neither of thise have been open due to the ride not working, but we dont slate those rides for it. I think what happened yesterday was an honest mistake, and it was just bad luck that the ride with some of these incidents in the past had this problem now.

Im with Screech on this. The more people praying for those families, the better
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fabiasimon
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:48 am

 
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Dan
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:10 am

Terrible news if one of the people involved has lost a leg.

It must be pointed out though that at the moment it's not been confirmed by an official source, only reported by a couple of newspapers.
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fabiasimon
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:35 am

The whole situation is disastrous!
Forget the park and merlin entertainments let's hope the injured people are ok although it doesn't sound positive unfortunately :-( but we can hope.

Only the investigation team will find out exactly what happened and I would be very surprised if the general public found this out. They will probably issue a statement but I think it will be twisted slightly in the best interests of all parties.

An extremely grey day in the history of alton towers but I am confident it won't hurt the park too much. A lot of the flippent comments being made on social media are exactly that flippant and for attention!

4 planes have crashed or gone missing over the last year where hundreds of people have lost their lives. Does that stop holiday enthusiasts from going abroad? NO!

Will this really have a massive impact on the park and stop people going? NO!

Our thoughts are with the injured at this present time. Let's hope they make a speedy recovery.
 
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Thorpe Towers 13
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:49 am

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... s-leg.html

from the telegraph website, most recent thing I could find. Tragic this is, just hope everyone involved makes a recovery and they get to the bottom of what happened.
 
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Benjsh85
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:25 am

Be very surprised if they demolished the entire ride, like some are suggesting.

It's incredibly sad what has happened, no question, but we all know (or at least we should do) that there's a 1 in a million chance when we board these monster coasters that something like this CAN happen. It's not the first time anything like this has happened and sadly it won't be last. It's a vast complex machine with high speed moving parts at the end of the day and they break from time to time and sometimes cause injuries and even worse.

We need to wait to see what the investigation brings......but I seriously doubt we'll see the Smiler in action again in 2015. It needs a lot of work, I think that's clear. But it also needs the benefit of no more bad press for another 10 months. Wouldn't be surprised if they even reconfigure some of the track as it's blatantly got a serious issue in the batwing element.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:50 am

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I've been wondering, due to the nature of the accident is it possible that when The Smiler reopens they will only have one car on the track at a time?

Even though it won't look as spectacular, I feel like that might help restore visitor faith in the short term, and I doubt the queues will be as long as they were before.

Hope the injured people are as okay as they can be :/
 
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demz_4
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:05 am

Hey guys, if anyones interested here are some videos from the staff of the west midlands ambulance service talking at the scene https://officialwmas.wordpress.com/2015 ... erviews-2/
 
kavanagh21
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:29 am

Although Merlin will probably not want to, I think it will be even more damaging for public trust if they don't release the full details of what caused the accident yesterday; particularly if it is due to a failure of the ride's safety control systems. If it was the ride itself, I wouldn't be surprised to see Merlin drop the blame on the doorstep of Gerstlauer. I would think that the HSE would almost certainly publish something of their own into this incident, so I'm slightly more hopeful we'll find out what has caused the issue that let this happen yesterday.

This is possibly a stupid question (so apologies if it is!), but what prevents the cars on Smiler having front/rear buffers? If these were to protude slightly from the front/back of the car, then this would have taken the brunt of the force upon impact? I understand that some might say, "Well, two cars should never meet", but it seems to me like a simple and inexpensive addition that may *slightly* reduce the chances of serious injury in the rare instance two cars meet on the track.
 
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Evostance
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:31 am

According to Nick Varney

Technically that should not have happened.

The Smiler is a relatively new ride, all rides have teething problems when they open. Guest safety on those sorts of incidents is not really a major issue in the sense that when you're on a rollercoaster car, the car can't come off the track and you are restrained in the seats.

When you have a glitch and the ride stops, it's not really an issue of safety to the riders.

What happened yesterday is something that there are other fail-safes for. There are other braking locks that should stop two cars being on the same track, but that didn't work the way it was supposed to.


Doesn't rule out the fact it was sent out by human intervention though
 
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MizzHanza
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:51 am

Wishing everyone a speedy recovery!

This was a terrible tragedy but we should not blame anyone until all facts are out. None of us know exactly how this happened but I'm sure investigation will shed some light soon enough.

All I know is that the level of care from the staff in legal terms has to be "reasonable" ie the level of care exercised by an ordinary, everyday person. The standard of care can vary according to individual circumstances but if a sufficient standard of care has not been exercised, the duty of care has been breached. Therefore if the staff did use a standard amount of care, legally they are not at fault.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:57 am

Evostance wrote:

Doesn't rule out the fact it was sent out by human intervention though


And this is the single most chilling aspect to the whole incident. There are systems in place to stop another car being dispatched following a stall.

If someone has negated this system and manually dispatched a car then the whole of Merlin's ride-op training will be put under the microscope.

My prime concerns are with the poor people in that car but wow - I feel for the ride-op on shift when that occurred because if it was human error then that human will remember the press of that button for the rest of their lives. :(
 
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Wedjie
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:07 pm

I understand it's going to be purely precautionary rather than a suggestion of a fault in the system, but SAW at Thorpe is closed today.
 
Sentri558
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:09 pm

humanshifter wrote:
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I've been wondering, due to the nature of the accident is it possible that when The Smiler reopens they will only have one car on the track at a time?

Even though it won't look as spectacular, I feel like that might help restore visitor faith in the short term, and I doubt the queues will be as long as they were before.

Hope the injured people are as okay as they can be :/

It is probably unlikely for it to go THAT far, however there will certainly be new protocol regarding test cars going around the track, and there will likely be a newer software package or new computer system placed into the ops cabin to help automatically alleviate such issues occurring again in the future.

Basically, we wont know what Merlin will do until we know what happened in the incident.
 
Morgano
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:16 pm

Here's my opinion based on multiple eye witness accounts that have been posted.

  • Ride was experiencing problems all day and had experienced a technically difficultly shortly before (this isn't particularly unusual but does give precedent to the events that followed)
  • Issue is resolved and a test train or trains were sent around the track
  • For whatever reason staff were confident that the ride should continue to operate and another train (train 2 which was full) was sent on it's way shortly after train 1 (which was empty)
  • Train 1 valleyed due to the strong winds that were occurring that day and did not clear the block section of the track
  • Train 2 was then stopped on the lift due to the blocking system flagging that Train 1 had not cleared the blocks
  • Whether or not the staff in the station were aware of the valleyed train or weren't, it would appear and engineer was called due to the train 2 stopping on the lift
  • There was a 5-10 minute wait whilst train 2 sat on the top of the lift before it resumed
  • Here there are a few possibilities; due to the issues experienced earlier in the day and normally throughout the year there seems to have been a lapse in judgement. Whether it was the fact that the vallyed train had not been spotted or whether the valleyed train had not been communicated effectively to the engineer. The system was likely overrode or reset, therefore resetting the status of all block sections. As there are no sensors on the batwing section of track, the valleyed car would not have been picked up by the system after a reset, therefore effectively allowing the ride to resume normal operation. I believe from my limited knowledge that the reset of the ride would not occur within the loading station and likely would occur elsewhere. Therefore even had the ride ops known of the issue, if they had no easy way to communicate to the engineer, a simple misunderstanding could not have been corrected once the ride was set in motion without very quick reactions (the ride was at the top of the crest).

I'm almost certain that based on the reports the system functioned correctly and stopped the train before incident occurred. If you think about previous valleys, the train is removed from the track and therefore does not clear the blocking section. It is therefore relatively clear that the block system can be overridden or reset in cases like this.

In my personal opinion I'm guessing that staff overlooked the valleyed car and instead focused on the train which got stuck on the lift or there was a communication error upon which the engineer had not known about the valleyed car and had overrode the system before resuming operation of the ride.

How can they fix it?

  • They could re-profile the track (costly and time consuming - unlikely but a guaranteed result)
  • Add additional sensors where the train normally valleys, these sensors will not allow another train to enter the block section if they are currently detecting an object (will not stop the valleying but will halt the system even after a reset has occured)
  • Decrease the amount of trim applied (not sure if this is feasible)
  • Increase the lift speed

I'm going in 20 days and this would not have stopped me riding.
 
rosco1982uk
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:05 pm

I despise the press in this country. In fact the world.

No longer is news, news. Now it's all shock value shock value shock value!!!

Sky News' website right now has the whole top page in yellow "WATCH AFTERMATH OF CRASH HERE".

It then gives you the video of the carriage rocking back and forward and people screaming to be let off.

Come look at this sickos! Look at the video of it we've got!


Slightly further down the page: "Video of chinese ferry as it overturns!"

Again - come look at people about to die sickos! We've got it here!


The metro, the sun both going full front page of people still in the carriage in obvious pain. Look as us everyone! We have photos of the carnage and actual people in pain!!

I live in Glasgow and we had the bin lorry accident last year. Other papers had pictures of the lorry in the side of the hotel. But not the Sun. They had a picture of a woman lying dying on the ground, with CPR being performed, whilst her daughter stood crying over her. Look at us! Shock pictures!


The media are a disgrace, fueled even moreso by the social media "need a photo or video of everything" generation.
 
tgm999
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:13 pm

humanshifter wrote:
I've been wondering, due to the nature of the accident is it possible that when The Smiler reopens they will only have one car on the track at a time? :/


I very doubt it will come to that the queue will be all the way to tower street and it will take all day to get on. However the big one at Blackpool has had two incidents where the block brakes have failed to stop a train resulting in a collision when it used to run three trains and now it only ever runs three trains empty during testing.

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