Incident on The Smiler 02/06/2015

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ASturge21

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Anything but Thirteen
Just checking a few wind records, 40-50mph gusts from SW/W wouldn't affect it, even in the slightest? An empty train with lower than normal momentum?
Let's remember trains would have went round empty every morning and after a closure due to a technical issue and empty trains can complete the course so another variable would have played a part.
 

Tom

TS Member
The stalling was not the root cause, just like the fact that they were only operating the ride for profit wasn't.
 

ASturge21

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Anything but Thirteen
From the start I said halfway through the bat wing. Where the crash was.
I think a launch could be placed anywhere after the first decline as the launch speed would carry through to the brake run before the vertical lift hill.
 
U

UserDeleted

The stalling was not the root cause, just like the fact that they were only operating the ride for profit wasn't.

I disagree.

I agree it was a build up, but the stalling was the major reason for the crash.

If it had been windy and not stalled there wouldn't have been a car to crash into. So not just the wind.

If it had emergency stopped on the lift and they sent it over and there wasn't a car to crash into, it wouldn't have crashed. So not just the ride operators.

It was the cars that crashed as a result of a stall.
 
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U

UserDeleted

I think a launch could be placed anywhere after the first decline as the launch speed would carry through to the brake run before the vertical lift hill.

But the point is it can't go over the bunny hop too quickly as puts strains on the track.
 

Hitch

TS Member
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An Unnamed Infinity Coaster
I dont think it would actually be possible to reprofile the batwing because its so close to the cobra roll and there would be a clearance issue perhaps?
 

Martin

TS Member
It was the cars that crashed as a result of a stall.

The cars crashed because one was released onto the same block as a stalled one ahead of it. Tom is right here, stalling sometimes happens, which is why there are systems in place to stop accidents like this happening. Systems that worked for ten minutes here, before something happened to send the train over the lift.

The cause of the crash was the error that led to the second train being released. If the system hadn't have failed or been overwritten, the crash would not have happened.
 
U

UserDeleted

The cars crashed because one was released onto the same block as a stalled one ahead of it. Tom is right here, stalling sometimes happens, which is why there are systems in place to stop accidents like this happening. Systems that worked for ten minutes here, before something happened to send the train over the lift.

The cause of the crash was the error that led to the second train being released. If the system hadn't have failed or been overwritten, the crash would not have happened.

You completely missed the point!
 

Tom

TS Member
Your logic is flawed, unless you believe that the front railing was responsible for the injuries.

The HSE will be concerned with an unsafe release from the lift hill. They insist on effective supervision of the track at all times. That is what they will be most concerned with.
 
U

UserDeleted

So do people think if there wasn't a stall car it would have crashed into nothing?
 

Martin

TS Member
No, if someone or something had not have released the second train after the system correctly prevented it, the stalled train would have made no difference. There was a crash because the systems in place to prevent crashes happened failed to do so.
 
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U

UserDeleted

But if the emergency system had prevented the car going over for whatever other reason apart from a stalled train. And then they sent it over.... It wouldn't have crashed into thin air. I agree it's a multiple of factors. But the stalled train is the biggest fault!
 

DanJB

TS Member
Nope, the others right. Rides are designed so that stalls don't (or shouldn't) pose any danger to riders. The stall was the necessary first step in the chain of events leading up to the crash, but it was the failure of the block system that was the cause.
 
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ASturge21

TS Member
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Anything but Thirteen
From what I know the block system did its job, it was the op/tech at fault.
Yes the blocks initially done their job as the ride stopped on lift hill 1 if the blocks had failed it would have been sent without stopping but the op or technician should have been able to account for all trains in the event of an e-stop/stall this did not happen or happened incorrectly and as a result the train was sent over the lift hill and straight to the scene of the crash. This means that the root cause was what happened post stall and how procedures for such an event were not followed.
 

GaryH

TS Member
The accident was human error - an engineer overrode the blocks and sent the train around.

The stalling however is a flaw with the design of the ride, it should never have been acceptable for it to stall in the middle of two elements, really poor design if you ask me.
 

RoyJess

TS Member
It doesn't matter how many safety features you have in place, accidents will happen. Airplanes have plenty of safety features and are one of the safe forms of travels, but they still crash from time to time.

Actually the more safety features you have, the more that we rely on them and the less we double check things with our own eyes. Cars on our roads that have more safety features fitted are more likely to be involved in an accident as the driver feels safe enough to take more risks.

Rollercoasters do stall, even the vampire ride first stalled when first tested, The big one at BPB stalls in high winds.

What I've been told when the Smiler very first open is that the stalling is down to Alton fitting alternative wheels to quieten down the ride to keep the neighbors happy. If they have stuck with the official wheels, it wouldn't stall. How true this is, I can't say, but I've heard it from a couple of sources.

IMO the Smiler crash was caused by the engineers putting too much trust in the safety system and overlooked the possibility that a train might have stalled.

What I understand is that the prohibitive order is still in place or have I've been misinformed? So were the images of the staff riding the Smiler in the mirror genuine or have the staff breach the prohibitive terms? And if the prohibitive order still in place, is this because Alton haven't finished all the work required on the Smiler and if they have are they on a waiting list for the HSE to come and examine the ride, or did the HSE decided to keep the order on?

It is now looking very unlikely for it to reopen for the end of the season and fingers cross that it don't remain SBNO for the next season.
 

XXBENNXX

TS Member
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Spider-Man IOA
The cause of the crash has been established.

A car stalled, the system did its job and did not allow the following train to enter the block.

For whatever reason, most probably a poor lapse in judgement, an engineer used his override, a system that can not be removed from the ride i might add, and sent the train into the block, the rest, as they say, is history.

The system WAS NOT at fault, and of course the stall was the root cause.

Had it not stalled, the second train could not have crashed, as there would have been no stalled train for it to rear end.

Feels like some people are either being ignorant to the facts, or flat out trolling.

EDIT : The photos are from 2013, unless new ones have surfaced, i think the order was lifted a long time ago, there is no conceivable reason for it to still be in place, the system worked perfectly, it was people who were at fault.
 

Tom

TS Member
The prohibition notice remains in effect until Alton Towers informs the HSE that they have complied with the required remediation.

The root cause was not a stalled train, you're ignoring the fact of what is reasonabily expected to occur. A stalled train is, an override isn't.

Unsafe releases are unacceptable and are the primary cause. An example would be that a maintenance technician could be struck and killed if working on the track and an unsupervised release were to occur.
 
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