The Smiler Incident - What Happened

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Rob, 22nd Apr 2016.

  1. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    As you may have seen, Merlin have today pleaded guilty to Health & Safety breaches relating to the incident on The Smiler last year. A few more details of what happened have come out in court today so I am creating this thread to specifically discuss them.

    Please use the Media Coverage of Alton Towers thread if you want to discuss how the media handle things following this. And continue to use the 2016: The Smiler Reopening thread to discuss changes to the ride this year following on from what happened.

    Here are some quotes from the HSE prosecutor regarding the incident:
    So it sounds like Towers had no procedures in place for what to do if a train stalled and no clear way to see if a train had stalled on the batwing.

    Of course we already knew about the manual override.

    :)
     
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    Posted 22nd Apr 2016
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  2. Dan

    Dan TS Contributor

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    Photos of the crashed train have also been released

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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    Posted 22nd Apr 2016
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  3. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I saw those photos, not sure if they're a reconstruction of how the train would have been after impact as the front didn't look as damaged as that in all of the photos/videos that were shown following what happened.

    I'd imagine the emergency services had to cut away a fair bit of the trains as part of the rescue operation.

    :)
     
    Posted 22nd Apr 2016
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  4. Dan

    Dan TS Contributor

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    I'm pretty sure it isn't a reconstruction as you can see the vehicle being lifted off the ride in a video on the HSE website [​IMG]
     
    Posted 22nd Apr 2016
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  5. TomLad

    TomLad TowersStreet Member

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    I really don't have any response to those train pictures. Holy hell.
     
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    Posted 22nd Apr 2016
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  6. Danza91

    Danza91 TowersStreet Member

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    That's worse than I had ever imagined. And there were people on this forum saying the victims should be over it by now.

    It really is hard to believe that no one realised a train had stalled.
     
    Posted 22nd Apr 2016
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  7. Ted

    Ted TowersStreet Member

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    The pictures showing the damaged train are grim. There's literally no leg room between the middle seats. They were the seats Vicky and Leah were sitting in as well :(
     
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    Posted 22nd Apr 2016
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  8. TomLad

    TomLad TowersStreet Member

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    To be honest this really does put the incident into perspective. We all knew it was bad, but I don't think any of the initial images/video made it out to be quite as awful as it actually is! I'm genuinely now amazed that the outcome for all of those on the front row wasn't so much worse.
     
    Posted 22nd Apr 2016
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  9. Balb0wa

    Balb0wa TowersStreet Member

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    Terrible images, im sure these pictures will have an impact on future carriage designs, ie a lot better crash structure , similar to what cars have.

    They say some good comes out of bad things. Lessons will be learnt etc.
     
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    Posted 22nd Apr 2016
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  10. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    Knowing a bit about mechanics of injury, i am suprised that vicky and leah only lost one leg in this crash. It also shows how good the pre hospital care is in the uk.

    Sent from my SM-T210 using Tapatalk
     
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  11. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    As reported on the ITV lunch time News apparently those are the actual images of the crashed trains. Also reported that due to the seriousness of the Health and Safety breach, that the case is to be moved to a higher court for sentencing.

    http://www.itv.com/news/central/2016-04-22/photos-show-wrecked-carriages-from-the-smiler-crash/

    http://news.sky.com/story/1683357/alton-towers-guilty-over-rollercoaster-crash
     
  12. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Still better than Ryanair though.
     
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  13. T

    T TowersStreet Member

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  14. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I don't think so. Focus on future trains would be on making sure the block system cannot be over-ridden without several failsafes. Adding more to the front car adds more weight and could make a stall more likely.
     
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  15. spinba11

    spinba11 TowersStreet Member

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    I'm surprised that the known travel time between brakes/lifts isn't programmed into the computer system and if a train doesn't take that time to travel a block an alarm goes off in the cabin.
     
  16. TomLad

    TomLad TowersStreet Member

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    For all we know it may be now.
     
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  17. skyscraper

    skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    that may not work anyway, as the travel time would probably depend on the combined passenger weight. clever idea, though!
     
  18. Dar

    Dar TowersStreet Member

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    That's actually what happens though? The system has a time programmed in it and it compares the cycle times and if it doesn't match within a surprisingly strict tolerance, it throws an alarm. It's one of the ways trims are adjusted, the speed of the last few cycles gets averaged and compared to the desired speed.
     
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  19. kris3012

    kris3012 TowersStreet Member

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    Surely you can have a tolerance that would allow this to work ( an extra second for example)
    If it take say 30 seconds on a section then an alarm after say 35 seconds or whatever would trigger in the event of any serious problem
     
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  20. AndrewH

    AndrewH TowersStreet Member

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    It just seems unfathomable that the smiler, a ride know for being prone to stalling in its early time, didn't have procedures to deal with a stall! I mean come on really? If I was designing procedures for the smiler, stalling would have been near the top of my list!
     
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