The Smiler Incident - What Happened

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

  1. TomLad

    TomLad TowersStreet Member

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    I guess with lapbars the point that your body is moving from is much lower down, meaning more of you would get thrown forwards. With an OTSR only your head can really move a significant distance.
     
  2. Pepper_Plant

    Pepper_Plant TowersStreet Member

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    Wasn't the ride going relatively slowly when it happened? (I have 20mph in mind but I'm not sure where from). So the difference between the two types of restraint might not have been as great as if it was going at its full speed (of course 20mph to pretty much stopping still puts a lot of pressure on the body).
     
  3. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    It's not the speed you're moving at that does the damage, it's how quickly you stop.
     
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  4. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    I think this is where I come in.

    The build of the train would be different with lapbars. there would be more structure to the floor of the car, and less structure to the rear of the seats. as these are the contact points we can not use the photos of the damage train as a guide to the mechanics of injury.

    we need to look at the forces acting on the body, what moves on the train itself. and the condition of the body these are acting on. There is a differences between a 20 year old with no illnesses and a 40 year old with fused renal structures.

    Looking at Gerstlauer Infinity lapbars, they go up against the left and right lumbar, Umbilical regions, Hypogastric region, Left and Right iliac fossa. and depending on G forces may be forced into the Epigastric region, Left and Right hypochondrium.

    This would cause mayor internal bleeding if impact forces (mass and momentum) was the same as the incident last year. There is also the spinal column to add into the mix, area of force would be around the Thoracic 11 to Lumber 5, and can cause rupture or movement of discs, damage/ full torn of ligaments. and even dislocation, factures or compression of the vertebra. These can cause cord damage leading to loss of function below that point.

    Ok, I think i may be too much of a geek.

    Can we get back to OTSR and what happened.
     
    Last edited: 23rd Apr 2016
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  5. spinba11

    spinba11 TowersStreet Member

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    What I meant was (this is ontop of the block system). Let's say for example (because I don't know how long it takes) the target time is 20 seconds from leaving the top of lift 1 to the brakes at the bottom of lift 2. If the train takes longer than 20 seconds + a little bit of extra time (for early morning test runs when the bearing are cold) an alarm goes off in the cabin say there is something no right.
     
  6. Dar

    Dar TowersStreet Member

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    That's literally what already happens...

    consider a stall. If the train stalls, the system has no way of knowing it has stalled; there's no sensors actually out on the circuit to detect it (bar the odd point of no return sensor on launched rides, but that's not relevant here). So, the system will have a deadline programmed in. This is how long this train should take to get from this sensor to this sensor, and if it doesn't, throw an alarm and stop the ride. There is a tolerance built in, but it's smaller than you would think. Ride control systems are unbelievably picky. They have to be to be safe. As this exact situation has shown, if they aren't then the whole system fails.
     
    Last edited: 24th Apr 2016
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  7. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    Thank goodness someone posted, for a bit i thought i killed the thread.

    I thought the block system warns when a train is slow though a block, and estops everything behind thst block if the train does not reach the end of block.

    This look to what happened in the incident, and was overridden by a human. I think if a mark 1 eyeball was used to check the track for train, then it would not of happened

    Sent from my SM-T210 using Tapatalk
     
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  8. spinba11

    spinba11 TowersStreet Member

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    My understating from the very start was nobody in the cabin knew it had stalled.
     
  9. Dar

    Dar TowersStreet Member

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    The system knew it had stalled but the operators had been getting false errors all day, probably from the routine you've described, and as result they cleared those errors and manually overrode the system. It probably happens all the time, and the engineer was almost definitely using their experience of these other incidents on other rides to make the decision they did. It just so happens that this time it was the wrong decision.

    At least that's how I understand it.

    :)
     
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  10. spinba11

    spinba11 TowersStreet Member

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    We will probably never know what happened.
     
  11. Leah

    Leah TowersStreet Member

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    I understand that the system realised there was a stall, so e-stopped the car on the lift. This showed an error to the ops, who assumed that it needed resetting as the issue was the vault on the lift hill. Ride was reset by engineers, and it went on its way.
     
  12. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    If you were in their position, dealing with a ride that broke down several times in one morning with errors and the ride was reset several times, if it happened again you would think 'oh not again, bloody ride'. So I can understand why they reset it regardless.

    It does seem odd though that there were no procedures that involve staff doing a visual check of the track. Shows how reliant we are on computers.

    Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk
     
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  13. kris3012

    kris3012 TowersStreet Member

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    Why couldn't they have a visual display to indicate where all the trains are on the track
    Or cameras fitted to the front of each train
    Either way if 1 then stalls it would be easier and quicker to identify
     
  14. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    One thing I have never understood is give how cheap and widespread the use of NFC is now, could they not have sensors around the track and NFC transmitters on each train so the ride op can see - in realtime - the exact position of each ride car....
     
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  15. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Now that is a good idea! I suggest you patent it quickly!
     
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  16. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    I think some of this misses the point entirely in regard to the charge levelled at Merlin.

    The technology itself has had a clean bill of the health. It meets EU and UK requirements. The ride and all its associated safety equipment were all in good working order and in a good state of repair and where sufficient for the ride to be operated as safely as practically possible.

    Merlin are actually being accused of not having proper operating systems in place. A "system" doesn't refer to some sort of technology, but an operating procedure. So a policy and procedure for "what to do in the event of....".

    It looks like (on top of the ride operators not following procedures already in place, hence their part in the negligence), that Merlin did not have a sufficient or arobust enough operating system in place to prevent this occurance.

    In order to remedy the situation, this new system may involve additional technology to add fail safes to the way the operators operate the ride but it doesn't have to be that. Regardless of the amount of sensors, clever computer systems and cameras etc that are added (and the fact that far older coasters with inferior computer technology run perfectly safely elsewhere in the park and have done for years), its clear that the procedure is at fault here above anything else.

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  17. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    I did comment about mark 1 eyeball. The rides system worked, if they visually checked the track was clear and it was not. They would of not overridden the ride systems. It comes down to processes and operation for the human element.
    There is some thing called human factors. I know very little about that, maybe there is another member that has studied human factors. That could explain the basics of it.

    Sent from my SM-T210 using Tapatalk
     
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  18. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    Put simply, if I read a sign outside the Smiler stating "Now with added sensors, camera's and trains reinforced for extra crash worthiness", I wouldn't feel more reassured!

    Sent from my D6603 using Tapatalk
     
  19. Error

    Error TowersStreet Member

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    If this is the case then that's shocking.

    Saying that they had errors allday and made the decision to just "override" again on that doomed train, due to the fact they thought it was another false error is mind blowing.

    False or not you take every precaution.

    You hear a fire alarm, no initial awareness of a drill?....you evacuate.
    Don't just reset assuming it's an error.
     
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  20. Charlie Still

    Charlie Still TowersStreet Member

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    hi im not sure if anyone has noticed but if you go on to youtube, put in smiler stalling, and watch the video titled "the smiler - alton towers - rescuing the stalled train" you will notice in 2013 a ride stall occurred on the same track section as the june 2015 crash. im unsure if anyone is yet to notice this.

     
    Last edited: 26th Apr 2016

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