Incident on The Smiler 02/06/2015

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by spinba11, 2nd Jun 2015.

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  1. MichelinMan

    MichelinMan TowersStreet Member

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    It is too early to state with any certainty that the theme park was negligent in this accident - I suggest such categorical statements could lead you open for litigation!

    They are highly likely to be found to be negligent - but it could be down to faulty computers/electronic systems supplied by a 3rd party that is the fault. In which case it might not be the theme park's fault - it would then come down to factors such as how the systems were maintained, were the systems designed to a Merlin specification etc.

    Personally, I would be surprised if it was purely down to failure of control systems - the system will almost certainly need to be a safety instrumented system, which tends to have high levels of reliability and redundancy. From my experience, such systems tend not to fail completely - they are designed to tolerate failures of individual components without compromising the integrity of the whole system - human error is more usually the cause.

    But you are right - the amount of defence and sympathy for the theme park is surprising on here.Won't put me off going in a few weeks time though. Ironically, the safety performance of companies after big incidents like this improves dramatically.
     
  2. Jamie G

    Jamie G TowersStreet Member

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    Hello all!! Never knew this place existed before today! I have a huge interest in rides and the technology behind them and the control systems!

    Is everyone on the control 'panel' logged and recorded? I work on the railway, and every action we do is logged on the panel/workstation.
     
  3. EuroSatch

    EuroSatch TowersStreet Member

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    BBC reporting Alton Towers will remain closed until the cause of the crash is known, quoting Nick Varney. Who knows how long that could take
     
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  4. Burbs

    Burbs TowersStreet Team Team Member

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    Could they not just open the rest of the park and leave X-Sector closed? Or is that not a possibility?
     
  5. Alex23

    Alex23 TowersStreet Member

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    Unless they have no choice in the matter due to HSE?
     
  6. phildenholm

    phildenholm TowersStreet Member

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    The BBC are also saying the breaks on the card failed which is what caused the accident so lets not take too much notice of the BBC lol
     
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  7. Croftybaby

    Croftybaby TowersStreet Member

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    Some information from one of the passengers on board quoted on various sources. (BBC/the Sun/ITV)

     
  8. TypeR

    TypeR TowersStreet Member

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    These were fatal injuries that were only prevented by the skill and professionalism of the emergency services, I hope they receive proper recognition for this.
     
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  9. Benzin

    Benzin TowersStreet Member

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    Hey look, they sent out multiple trains prior to this one, looks like they followed procedure up until the point in which the train stalled...

    Now we can stop the crap about how "they only sent out a single test train and should've waited for it to return"...
     
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  10. TomLad

    TomLad TowersStreet Member

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    They won't rebrand. Simple.
     
  11. morgano

    morgano TowersStreet Member

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    Sorry to single your post out as your not the only one to say it, but can we stop with this litigation nonsense. I don't believe anyone is going to get sued for suggesting a general element of human error or negligence.

    However if people were to say John Doe an X employee at Alton Towers living at 55 John Doe Street pushed the emergency button because he was having suicidal thoughts and wanted to hurt people. Then that's a totally different kettle of fish.

    Lets not discourage free speech and thought when it is not necessary.
     
  12. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    The first two words you use in this post demonstrates you do not have a full understanding of the situation, so good start. Gerstlauer are not a shoddy manufacturer - they have 65 coasters around the world - if they were that shoddy then they would simply not sell. Yes they are cheaper than B&Ms and probably Intamins, although the latter proves that cost of ride and safety are not excactly linked. You are stating the park's negligence as fact; now it well may be but unless you are privy to the HSE investigation you cannot know for sure.

    I also do not think there has been a huge defence of Towers. Clearly this should not have happened, something at Alton Towers has failed badly. That may be the ride itself, a procedure, the level of training or simply a human error. Of course it should be condemned, you go to a theme park for safe fun and thrills, it is not acceptable to have a coaster crash. It's too early to say but I would guess there is a decent chance of Towers/Merlin being prosecuted for this.

    What there has been however is a lot of praise for the way that Alton Towers and Merlin have handled the whole situation since it occured. This praise is deserved. In life terrible things that shouldn't happen do happen, and reaction to these things is very important. Towers could not have reacted any better and the CEO of the operating company, Nick Varney, has set the tone well.
    EP has nothing to do with this at all, and even so, Towers ride hardware and systems are clearly top of the range. Heck they've got three B&Ms, the best in the business. From all the reports we have heard it sounds like the ride system did it's job, it did stop the train on lift 1 as block 2 had not been cleared. The question is why was the train allowed to be sent on its way after this? Of course the ride system could be to blame, or it could have been reset so the system no longer knew that there was a train still in block 2. If the ride system was never allowed to be reset in this way then the ride would never ever have got going again when it stalled after opening, seeing as the train being lifted of the track would mean it never completed block 2.
    No. Nick Varney has said that they need to work out whether the problem is isolated to just The Smiler or whether it is something that could potentially happen on other rides (however small the risk). I'd imagine a lot of procedures are being reviews. With such a serious incident the park and HSE will want to be fully satisfied that the public are fully protected. Once the park does re-open I would fully expect X-Sector to remain closed for a little longer.

    :)
     
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  13. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    Basically making bold claims on blame currently is fruitless. There are 3 broad possibilities (with many variables within them) in 2 Towers would be at fault.

    1) human error - Towers at fault

    2) maintenance failure - Towers at fault

    3) manufacture failure - Towers not at fault, gerst has a fairly clean record and HSE has signed off on the ride.
     
  14. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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  15. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    I'd also add a 4th to this list of computer software error, in which case the manufacturer or the software is at fault. You could even potentially add a 5th, which would be sensor fault in the block section which did not flag up on the system.
     
  16. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    I would have put those either within manufacturer or maintenance failure.

    Point is until HSE report back we can't be sure, even if we can suspect. EP have had rides crash due to block failures too, as has Blackpool. Comparing parks is fruitless other than self satisfying a passion for said park.
     
  17. morgano

    morgano TowersStreet Member

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    Thinking over the serious nature of the leg injuries to the persons on the front of the ride, considering it took 5 hours to evacuate them, it was EXTREMELY fortunate that no one severed any important artery's and that none of the 4 suffered massive blood loss in those hours. I guess this was mainly down to the fact that the persons with the most serious injuries also suffered heavy crushing which probably kept pressure reducing the bleeding.

    It makes me shudder to think had the impact been slightly different a sharp grate of the metal in the wrong place and this could of been 4 people bleeding out waiting for the emergency services. That alone would have sent shock-waves around the world in terms of rollercoaster evacuation points even at the most unlikely of locations.

    Even whilst appreciating the difficulty and nature of the evacuation it's still wholly unacceptable that it took 5 hours and I think this will be another key aspect of the investigation.
     
  18. Dan_PMBO

    Dan_PMBO TowersStreet Member

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    Hey don't post much but I'm a former charge hand of the Big One and senior operator and maintenance for BPB and For computer failure you need both 'RPLC's' (Remote Programable Logic Controls) to go wrong in exactly the same way and stay paired together and that simply is not possible you have two computers on these rides and there paired together as part of a restart and that's called 'hand shaking' if one does something different to the other the pairing 'hand shaking' is lost and the ride estops if there is something wrong with one RPLC you will not be able to take the ride out of estop let alone open blocks and restart lift hills so I'm going to rule out computer failure, Going from the facts we know to be true I'm going to bullit point what I think happened on Tuesday

    - The Smiler is having problems throughout Tuesday and maintenance are at the ride running empty cars.

    - The last empty train is sent the ride is deemed fit to run the second train is loaded and sent.

    -The strong wind that day coupled with an empty train stalled the train inbetween the bat wings the ride stopped the loaded train as it should at the top of the lift.

    - For whatever reason and I would think that's what there investigating is why it was not noticed the cause of the stoppage and or where the trains where positioned or that it was stalled, then the ride was re set blocks cleared and the train sent over.
     
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  19. Duffins

    Duffins TowersStreet Member

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    Long time lurker! This is my first post so hi!

    Towers have in the last hour changed all their display pictures on social media from the Smiler esqe logo design back to the standard. Do you think this is suggesting a longer term closure of the ride?
     
  20. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    Apparently the poor girl did suffer massive blood loss, reports are that she had passed out and needed multiple blood transfusions at the scene, hence why it took so long to get them out.
     
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