The Smiler Incident - What Happened

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

  1. kris3012

    kris3012 TowersStreet Member

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    Yes completely agree if something happens once there should be something implemented to stop it happening again or a warning if it does happen again either way
     
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  2. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    When it stalled during testing, they should of added a procedure that had eyeball all the track for train location and number of trains.

    Sent from my SM-T210 using Tapatalk
     
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  3. skyscraper

    skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    stalling should be near the top of the list of all new coaster's safety procedures.
     
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  4. Mikey:SubTerra

    Mikey:SubTerra TowersStreet Member

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    After having viewed the images of the train, I can only echo what others have said as in I knew how bad and serious the accident was - but never expected the train to be as mangled up as it was. Looking at it I would have expected the injuries to be far greater than they were - there appears to be no leg room at all in the middle seats.

    Wishing all those involved in this terrible day well in their continued recovery. I would hope we would never witness a shocking and terryfying ordeal like this again. Personally I do think that Towers have handled it very well and you can see first hand that procedures have now been amended to ensure this will never happen again.
     
  5. Rojo

    Rojo TowersStreet Member

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    Wow, what an incredible job the emergency services did to help those in the front row given how much damage there was. Unfortunately some of our greatest innovations come from tragedy. It's terrible for those involved and it will be of no real comfort to them that future rides will be safer than ever due to this incident. It does seem a glaring omission looking back, but so do most things do in hindsight.

    Whilst the ride is mechanically safe and a crash should never occur, I do wonder if we might see new trains in the future. Maybe not built to withstand an accident but possibly new and improved designs, that in a worst case scenario the trains would fold in a certain way to minimize injury or allow better access to riders. If we do get new trains, I wonder if Gerst would risk lap bars on the Smiler instead of OTSR. (I guess most non-riders would presume that OTSR's look safer)
     
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  6. Grand_Nash

    Grand_Nash TowersStreet Member

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    wouldn't lap bars be mounted to the floor of the train? so In this case probably would of caused some pretty horrific injuries to the lower abdomen?
     
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  7. Rojo

    Rojo TowersStreet Member

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    Good point, I was thinking something more along the lines of the Dare Devil Dive restraints.
     
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  8. JB1985

    JB1985 TowersStreet Member

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    Wow ... Very lucky we're not talking 4 casualties. No comfort to the victims.

    Fair play to the emergency services on this one. We're lucky to have such skilled people available for free
     
  9. Leah

    Leah TowersStreet Member

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    The OTSRs caused bruising, internal injuries (for one rider), and a collapsed lung. Lap bars on the other hand would have near enough cut people in half. The forces would have caused much worse injuries (probably along the lines of death and paralysis), and it wouldn't have prevented amputations. I know towers were criticized for having lap bars in the first place, but I think they prevented fatalities.

    And looking at those photos, you can really see how well it was managed by emergency services. Seeing how little leg room they had, I'm genuinely surprised that there were only two amputations, and that there weren't any fatalities. Almost as surprising as the fact that they had no procedures in place for the event of a stall. I'd understand if nemesis, or oblivion had nothing in place for a stall, but the smiler has a history of stalling. At least now though, the smiler truly is safer than ever.
     
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  10. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    And we must not forget the air ambulances, that speeded them to hospital for highly skilled doctors.
    These air ambulances get no government funding.
     
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  11. Rojo

    Rojo TowersStreet Member

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    I agree, with traditional lap bars certainly the damage would be worse. It feels like I have possibly hijacked this into an OTSR vs lap bar debate (which is a thread within itself.) I was thinking about whether we might see a change in the Smiler trains over the next few seasons, I suspect not as most will (wrongfully) see this as an admission as fault with the ride.
     
  12. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    Am I the only one that's not surprised by the pictures of the mangled train?

    Trains in future won't be designed differently. Why should they? This is a very unusual accident and very rare in the industry. The crash isn't about the train designs, it's about problems with the policies and procedures set at Alton Towers and within Merlin. Stalling has of course been a problem with The Smiler, although it's not the sole reason for the crash.

    Will be interesting to see how much Merlin get fined.

    Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk
     
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  13. Pepper_Plant

    Pepper_Plant TowersStreet Member

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    It sounds like something like that was in place - the HSE said that the ride was showing the stall. It's not clear what they mean by "there wasn't a system to see it", perhaps not a procedure in place for looking for it. The quote below sounds like the ride was also able to indicate the location of the stall.

    "...the computer-controlled system was correctly showing one of the farthest parts of the ride, the Cobra Loop, there was a stationary train, staff didn’t see it and there wasn’t a system to see it."
     
  14. Leah

    Leah TowersStreet Member

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    I doubt towers will change the trains due to the crash. Maybe we'll see alterations in the future if the ride becomes unbearably rough, but that's another topic. I'm not convinced either that this will affect lap bars vs OTSRs. If we see a woodie or water coaster in the future, I certainly wouldn't rule lap bars out. Towers won't throw out the idea of lap bars due to safety though, public perception of safety on the other hand...
     
  15. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    I'm not so sure lap restraints would be as bad as "cutting people in half". The floor of the train didn't buckle nearly as much as the front railing did. Plus, they would be atatched to the strong under frame, not the weak floor. I will concede though, that assuming you survive, the injuries from being thrown forward with a only lap restraint would be far worse than with an OTSR.

    OPINION ALERT:
    Personally, I think I'd rather be sliced in half and die [relatively] quickly than be trapped for hours in agony.
     
  16. TomLad

    TomLad TowersStreet Member

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    To me that suggests they are saying the computer knew the train hadn't made the vertical lift (hence stopping the train on the first lift), but there was no physical way for those operating the ride to know that this was the case (e.g. CCTV).

    Edit: Their wording is fairly ambiguous, I must admit!
     
  17. sianmann88

    sianmann88 TowersStreet Member

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    I just don't understand why if the computer said there's a train stalled here you would go "oh well I can't see it so I'll send the next one on its way anyway" it makes no sense to me at all!!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  18. Pepper_Plant

    Pepper_Plant TowersStreet Member

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    Ye that makes sense. It's not very clear what it means - saying that the computer was "showing" it suggests that there was some display rather than all internal.
     
  19. TomLad

    TomLad TowersStreet Member

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    The computer wouldn't explicitly say a train had stalled. All it knows is one has gone from lift 1 and isn't at lift 2 in the time expected. The reports said that they ride op and maintenance guy had mistook an error message, most likely coming from that.

    This is when they will have thought all was fine and sent the manned train on its way.
     
  20. Leah

    Leah TowersStreet Member

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    I didn't mean literally. Just the internal injuries at the point where you would be thrown into the bar would be much greater. I'm not an expert in injuries, but I'd also assume that there would be a higher chance of back injuries than OTSRs. And even if no more serious injuries (amputations, fatalities, etc) occured, I'm sure that there would be far more minor injures, only making it harder for victims.
     
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