UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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Shent
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:21 pm

They've just announced they are not opening the park tomorrow

Source: Alton towers Twitter
 
browr020
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:53 pm

From the Mirror
A lawyer today said the accident could end up costing as much as £1 million in compensation after a number of people suffered injuries.

Bosses at the theme park had been advertising for a person to come and become a rollercoaster tester just three weeks ago.

They had been seeking a person with a "strong stomach" to ride a number of the attractions - including The Smiler - each morning before the public arrive.

The company has now closed the advert and is no longer looking to fill this position at the moment.
 
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Tom
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:02 pm

browr020 wrote:
A quick way to resolve the stalling issue is to just add some LSM's onto the bat wing element.


It's highly unlikely that Alton would ever utilise electromagnetic launching technology on any ride, not without a significant power supply upgrade to the site.
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:07 pm

That's no surprise about the lack of opening. I cant see park opening for the next week, not even close
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Evostance
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:27 pm

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The Daily Mail don't half make some stuff up. Since when has it been possible to stop a ride, mid inversion..
 
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RCandrew
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:32 pm

I'm assuming they mean it stopped on loop 5 as in right at the top of the loop, due to the wind (same reason the empty car stalled) I am seeing two stories and one is that the full one just went off and ended up crashing, the other says that they tried to stop the full one but the breaks didn't quite do enough and it ended up slowing down enough to stall upside down, but continued and fell forward, crashing it no the empty car.

Is this a possibility or did it definitely not stall upside down on loop 5?
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:36 pm

Evostance wrote:
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The Daily Mail don't half make some stuff up. Since when has it been possible to stop a ride, mid inversion..


I saw that too clearly written by some tool who hasn't a clue about how coasters work and properly think they're powered the whole way round the circuit and that the trains have brakes on them. :lol
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:45 pm

Of course there's lots of speculation over what happened here, though the HSE investigation will ensure the truth comes out, but stripping everything away there's really only two possibilities here:

- The PLC suffered a catastrophic failure, including it's safety redundant backups (unlikely but plausible).
- Human intervention took place from technical services resulting in manual despatch of a full train before the empty train returned. Human error - much more likely.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:46 pm

RCandrew wrote:
I'm assuming they mean it stopped on loop 5 as in right at the top of the loop, due to the wind (same reason the empty car stalled) I am seeing two stories and one is that the full one just went off and ended up crashing, the other says that they tried to stop the full one but the breaks didn't quite do enough and it ended up slowing down enough to stall upside down, but continued and fell forward, crashing it no the empty car.

Is this a possibility or did it definitely not stall upside down on loop 5?


The empty car will have stalled on inversion 6 before rolling back down and coming to a stop in the middle of the batwing.

The train with guests on travelled the first half of the ride as normal before the impact. The amount of damage done to the front of the train indicates it was travelling at a fair speed when the impact occurred.
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:12 pm

Paramedics have spoken of the horrors at Alton Towers after two carriages collided.

The Smiler crash happened on Tuesday, June 2, at around 2pm and left four passengers with serious leg injuries.

There were 16 people involved, the four with serious injuries were airlifted to hospital, while one other was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure but has now been discharged.
Due to the carriages coming to a stop 25 foot high on the ride, it was necessary to build a platform to enabled the emergency services access to those on board and begin evacuation.

WMAS assistant area manager for Stoke Peter Howell, aged 52, from Trentham said: "When we arrived, we quickly realised what a difficult and prolonged job we would be dealing with. A carriage with 16 people in it had collided with a stationary one at speed.

"It was almost like a road traffic accident, but in mid-air. The carriage had come to rest in a concrete basin or bowl and was about 20 or so feet in the air.

"We could see the front carriage had taken the impact of the collision and the four people there were the most seriously injured. We could see the two girls had open fractures on their legs and were bleeding heavily.

"The Alton Towers staff and first responders were already on the scene and had erected a scaffolding platform in order to reach the patients. It did not take long to erect a second so we could get our paramedics, air ambulance medics and doctors up to them.

"It was very delicate work and it was really difficult to get the patients clear. In a road collision, it is relatively simple to remove the patient from the vehicle but with rides they are very specifically-designed seats with harnesses over the head and chest.

"Our first priority when getting up to the patients was to provide them with life-saving treatment they needed to arrest the haemorrhaging. One of the girls was bleeding out quite profusely.

"Once the bleeding was arrested we then worked out the safest scenario for getting them down. Eventually we managed to winch them to the ground, where they were reassessed, before they were put in the air ambulance via the same system.

"When you compare it to a very serious road traffic collision, where it can take us up to an hour to remove just one patient, we managed to safely remove 16 patients in about four and a half hours.

"We had to put the priority on the first four patients, however we had other paramedics up on the platform talking constantly with the other 12 people.

"The other people were absolutely brilliant. They understood why they had to wait and why we had to deal with the others first. They were very patient and credit must go to them for waiting.

"From a personal perspective, it would certainly be nice to get an update on how the patients are doing."
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:13 pm

I've scanned the previous pages of this thread so I hope I'm not repeating anything (or at least not too much :) )

Yes, this will affect Alton's reputation, but only in the short term.

I think it was a BBC News article I read? They interviewed Lyndon Simkin, a 'professor of strategic marketing' about what Alton's reputation will be like post-incident, and I think he hit the nail on the head.

Link to that article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-st ... e-32993933

Everyone knows the 1 in a million of chance of this happening so I won't go on further about that. But I have a problem with people talking about and demanding and/or speculating that the ride will be closed down.

Merlin wouldn't just throw away an £18 million investment, let alone it only being 2/3 years old. Obviously, long discussions and the current investigation that's taking place are necessary and the problem has to be analysed to ensure that something like this will never happen again.

At first, I'll admit that I too jumped to conclusions and immediately thought that the problem must lie with the ride operators. Reading through this thread, and reading through a different article (with Justin Garvanovic, head of the European Coaster Club), I realised how incredibly misleading that pre-judgement was.

This article argues that the fault must have been somewhere in the technical system:
"There are loads of sensors scattered all over the ride looking for problems, mainly checking no-one's fallen on the ride, especially in the station area."
"If the sensors spot something, the ride will automatically stop and that's why sometimes you'll see a train stuck on a lift, maybe once a day for five minutes, until they realise it's probably a bird or something. The sensors should absolutely have picked up on that. If the sensors had failed, that should have caused it to stop as well."

Most media services reporting on the incident also referenced the problem when those journalists rode The Smiler, but as Garvanovic says:
"When the journalists got stuck on The Smiler on the preview ride, the sensors will have picked something up on the track and emergency stopped the train. That's exactly what it should have done. It shows the ride was working safely."

So obviously, The Smiler is not the metal nightmare that the media are portraying it as. The media won't report on that however, but that's a completely different topic...

At the end of the day, I think there will be uncertainty within the general public for the next few weeks. But it will die down eventually, just like the Runaway Mine Train Incident did, and the Big Dipper Incident at Blackpool did.

Of course, my thoughts are with the families affected and the people who were on the ride at the time. I wish them a safe and speedy recovery.
Last edited by PhoenixStudios on Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Stan.H
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:14 pm

WOW!! Some great information you two!
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:22 pm

Victims Named... Source BBC News

Joe Pugh, 18, and his girlfriend Leah Washington, aged 17, both of Barnsley, were riding on the Smiler on Tuesday.
Two carriages crashed on the ride at the Staffordshire theme park, leaving some passengers trapped for four-and-a-half hours about 25ft (7.6m) up in the air.
Mr Pugh and Miss Washington and another man and a woman suffered leg injuries.
Oaks Working Men's Club, in Barnsley, where Mr Pugh works said: "We at The Oaks WMC would like to extend our prayers and best wishes in the speedy recovery of our barman Joe Pugh and his girlfriend Leah Washington."
The BBC's Declan Wilson spoke to friends of Miss Washington, who said she was the more badly injured. One friend said she had injuries to her legs, hips and hands.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-32997703

Feel so bad for them, get well soon!
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:24 pm

Tom-TT wrote:
browr020 wrote:
A quick way to resolve the stalling issue is to just add some LSM's onto the bat wing element.


It's highly unlikely that Alton would ever utilise electromagnetic launching technology on any ride, not without a significant power supply upgrade to the site.


...or a flywheel.

Interestingly PowerPark opened their Infinity Coaster last weekend I believe and it is till open, mind it is a vastly different setup, traditional LSM launch, 2 row carrige.

I'm not a fan of wild speculation especially when it leads to possible slanderous accusations, but the more I think about, I think how many sensors, systems are their to keep 2 trains out of one block, I can't help but think was the key in and switched to maintenance mode.

What I am sure of is the HSE will get to the truth and it won't be open again until they say so, as it should be.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:31 pm

I'd imagine AT would be allowed to keep Smiler open as when Rush (TP) had an accident it is still running today, although that wasn't as serious.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:32 pm

Mirror have said that the park is looking into human error being the cause, it would certainty explain why the whole park is shut.

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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:40 pm

Don't expect a decent SW8 as compensation could reach a million pounds!! (Source-Sun (Not reliable))
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:41 pm

Thoughts to all those involved, there for the grace of God etc...

So the Towers two biggest accidents happen 26 years apart and in EXACTLY the same location, spooky!
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:42 pm

Can't see AT saying it's down to human error so early, they won't make statements until the HSE have looked at every eventuality and complied a report about the incident.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:46 pm

It seems pretty clear to me that human error is involved.

From the information gathered in this thread, we have established that the occupied train was indeed held back in the block as intended, for what has been described as 10 to 15 minutes. The empty train stalled on the Batwing, and the occupied train behind was being held on the lifthill for this time, and did not move on to the next block. Then the lift hill started up once again after a significant amount of time had passed, and the train entered the block.

The rides system appears to have initially worked as intended, and then something has changed, which caused the car to suddenly move into the next block. I can't see any way human error could not be involved.

My own speculation of course.

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