Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by spinba11, 2nd Jun 2015.
Truly awful, my thoughts go out for her and the rest of her family.
Thats awful news. Saw it on the BBC News just now - the news tonight seems to be nothing but sad stuff.
Can The Smiler ever recover from this , get people to ride it and attract the crowds again.... you know.... im not so sure...
Very sad news indeed; after all, the first amputation was one more than I had hoped would be necessary.
As it sounds like the worst injury has come from the bar along the front of the first car, I can't help but wonder whether the ride will reopen with less enclosed trains. Karacho has very open cars that essentially amount to seats bolted to the car floor. I don't know for certain but I think Junker and Karnan are the same, making Smiler the odd one out. I can't see why this wouldn't be possible with OTSRs, and I really can't imagine that the ride's clearance envelope is too tight to run it without the bars, even when you consider those additional temporary guards that were added in 2013/and replaced by permanent ones for 2014.
It might be to stop people falling between the cars while boarding. On a normal Infinity Coaster, the lap restraints form a rail at the front when open, but with OTSRs, there would just be a gap.
Ah yes, very true.
In many ways this really does put them in a position where action is necessary, they will have to completely redesign and replace the trains at a minimum to get the public opinion back on the side of the smiler. I still think moving it to another Merlin owned park is an option they very much have on the table, if i didn't want to throw away 18 million pounds worth of equipment but knew using it here would cause a large negative uproar, that is exactly what i would do. The article also states she is likely to have another more acute amputation but does not go into detail. Weighing this up against other ride accidents, in which people sadly lost their lives yet these rides are still running, i would say that this incident is coming out just as bad.
If the Smiler does not reopen i will not be surprised. They have to make radical alterations, move it to another park, or scrap it. Monetary compensation will not buy these two young ladies new legs, and if they publically speak out against Towers and demand the ride never be operated again, Towers will have to listen. If they were to dismiss statements or requests they would be seen as offensive and disrespectful to these victims.
This second amputation has sent Merlin even further into crisis mode, Priority A, will be the supports of the victims, but priority B, is damage control. This has made that more difficult.
As an enthusiast, of course i want to see the smiler operating again, but as a business man, i just don't see it happening, not in it's current form at least. As a Human being i want to see these seriously injured people make as quick a recovery as possible, and these two young girls try to get over the physical and mental strains of living a life which is forever changed by these amputations.
Obviously these are just my opinions and i don't ask anybody here to agree with the outcomes i predict, but i honestly don't see any way out of this that doesn't end with the ride changed or moved.
Relocating it due to the sheer scale does not seem feasible. Substantial modifications is the likely outcome, but the only way The Smiler is leaving Towers is in the back of a skip. I imagine every step to prevent that will be taken.
I don't see it being closed permanently. Merlin is one of the world's richest companies. If they can spend £60 million on a dark ride, this won't be a problem. All I can see being re-designed is the metal bar on the front. That looks like the thing that crushed their legs.
Can't help thinking that if merlin had gone with a lapbar system instead of otsr then these amputees wouldn't of happened?
All the force would have then transferred into the abdomen causing more internal injuries.
How would that stop it. With OTSRs, the surface area of the restraints pushing on you is larger, meaning the force is smaller but over a larger area. With lap bars, the surface area is much smaller, this would be a similar amount of force as being hit in the hip by a large hammer. The potential injuries would be worse.
£60m on a dark ride? When?
I'm sure that's only around £30m, though I stand to be corrected.
Yes it is indeed 30 million, maybe LESS.
With lap restraints they would have less leg injuries, unfortunately the forces on the lumbar area of the spine would be much greater. And may end up with intact but no functional legs and the issues that come with that.
I think a lot of the outcome with the ride will come down to the HSE investigation and what is made public from it.
If it becomes apparent that it was machine error then it will be much harder to gain trust from the public on the ride again but I still can't see why the ride wouldn't open even if it was.
If it becomes an issue of human error then opening the ride again becomes a lot easier - though it will leave Towers with a bigger PR headache.
Not sure if I want it to be human error or not. if it isn't, the ride will take longer to open. If it is, then I'd hate to be the person at "fault".
You know what is making me really angry right now...
"Her leg has been amputated, her life is ruined"
No. Her life is not "ruined". Dramatically changed, yes. Vastly impacted, yes. Ruined, no. Ruined means to go into a state of disrepair. Yes, she probably can't continue as a dancer, but no doubt merlin will pay her enough to help her do whatever it is she will do. In terms of buildings, a ruin is one that is beyond restoration, Will never be functional again. And Leah wants a career as a teacher, which is not really affected. Tabloids/people should stop using the word ruined.
Guess what Alton towers have done since the crash. Hosted their annual children with cancer day, did this make headlines? No.
I would actually take the opposite view - a mechanical failure can be re-designed so that such a failure can't happen again. You can design a system to fail inherently safe, and you will be pretty sure that won't happen again.
Human error, on the other hand, can NEVER be totally eliminated. In task risk assessments, the human error rate for a routine operation is once in every thousand operations. For non-routine operations, and especially where there is an element of pressure (such as a stuck ride), then the human error rate can be as high as once every 100 operations (or even more). So a risk assessment needs to take account of this when designing procedures where there needs to be high reliability - for example, through the use of checklists, or using teams of people to do the operation (e.g. multiple people checking every step, minimising a single person's error).
But the crux of this is that you can never eliminate human error - and if that is that case, nobody can say with a 100% guarantee that this sort of accident can't happen again. And if that is the case, I would suggest people would be less likely to go on rides if they knew that. This is where my profession (technical safety) comes in - trying to get across that nothing is 100% safe, especially where humans are involved, but demonstrating that everything is possibly done to reduce error potential to make operations as safe as is reasonably practicable.
Saw has been testing a lot recently, talk is that they're trying to recreate the stalled scenario as to what happened on The Smiler and see how the coaster reacts, ie. the cars e-stopping.
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