The Alton Towers theme park has been closed today after a rollercoaster crash which left four people with serious injuries. The Staffordshire theme park said the decision had been taken following the “dreadful incident” on The Smiler ride.
Following a multi-agency emergency response, two men and two women were airlifted to major trauma centres with significant leg injuries and 12 other people were rescued after the collision yesterday.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Alton Towers Resort to reports that a carriage of “The Smiler” had collided with a stationary unoccupied carriage. Community first responders based at the theme park were first on scene.
Four ambulances, three Midlands Air Ambulances from Strensham, Cosford and Tatenhill, the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, a MERIT trauma doctor and three BASICS doctors, paramedics from the Trusts Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) and several senior paramedic managers were in attendance.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said:
“There were 16 occupants on board the carriage which collided with a stationary unoccupied carriage. A platform was built in order for emergency services to reach the occupants on the ride who were approximately 25 feet up in the air at an angle of about 45 degrees.
The Trust’s HART paramedics, doctors, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Alton Towers’ rope rescue staff worked at height to carefully release and treat the occupants. The focus on the emergency services was to treat and release four of the occupants who were the most seriously injured.
Two males (18 years and 27 years) and two females (19 years and 17 years) sustained lower leg injuries. All four were given advanced trauma care, pain relief and immobilisation and were each carefully extricated from the ride and onto the platform before being lowered to the ground.”
Interviews with WMAS Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer Steve Wheaton and WMAS Assistant Area Manager Pete Howell were conducted at the scene. You can view them here.