The Smiler Incident - What Happened

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

  1. andeyhart

    andeyhart TowersStreet Member

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    I remember this guy last year. His delusion is hilarious.
     
  2. andeyhart

    andeyhart TowersStreet Member

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    Right I've just watched the three videos posted (thanks Leah) and I think they've given me heart palpatations. I'm all for a good conspiracy and yes, he's entitled to his opinion, but I'm sorry, this guy is a complete and utter moron.
     
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  3. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I don't think this had been stated before but has come out in court today. Before the incident, Gerstlaurer recommended that The Smiler should not be run in winds of 34mph or above. The wind speed on the day of the incident was 46mph.

    :)
     
  4. MattyH

    MattyH TowersStreet Member

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    This link shows the daily mirror article from today. https://web.archive.org/web/2016092...ws/alton-towers-smiler-operated-46mph-8914914
    This bit is quite shocking.
    "Four engineers working on the day of the crash had not read or seen the ride’s operating instructions, the court has been told.

    The hearing also hears that two had not seen the risk assessment.

    A safety expert said the human errors which occurred in the lead up to the crash were a result of inadequate systems."
     
  5. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    "Before the break, the prosecution told how Alton Towers operator fell “far short” in governing its engineers who fixed faults on rides.

    Barrister Bernard Thorogood said: “One first empty train was sent to establish the lift was operating normally but, unknown to those present, this train failed to clear the loop - with which this case is unfortunately and sadly concerned.

    “The problem was that the head-wind which that train could not overcome.”

    The Smiler ride itself, it was concluded, was “well-designed” as were the computer and “sophisticated” control systems, while the operator of the ride had followed safe working practices.

    It concluded that the defendant, Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd fell “far short” when it came to governing the inevitable need for engineers from the park’s technical service’s department to fix faults on the ride.

    However, he added that there was “absolutely no evidence of a task analysis-based approach for engineering work, in particular in dealing with ride faults”.

    Mr Thorogood, summing up that point, said “engineers revealed a range of understandings to important aspects, which with a single system (of working) there would not be”.


    Giving an example of the idiosyncratic approach, Mr Thorogood said one engineer who worked on the Smiler that day told investigators after the crash that he had “assumed” the rollercoaster had been fitted with a type of safety trip-switch present on at least one other park ride, when in fact it had not."

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/alton-towers-smiler-crash-live-8914914
     
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  6. spinba11

    spinba11 TowersStreet Member

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    What is the safety trip-switch?
     
  7. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

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    The Smiler ride itself, it was concluded, was “well-designed”

    apart from certain transition points on the track which try to rip you head off
    :p
     
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  8. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I find it almost unbelievable that a park such as Alton Towers run by one of the biggest entertainment companies in the world had such deficiencies when it comes down to the training of staff in technical services. You would think anyone with a responsibility for a ride would be trained to have a full understanding of how it worked.

    :)
     
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  9. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    Who ever's reads the instruction manual?

    I presume it's a bit like Chinese whispers. Mr A gets the initial training.

    Mr A trains up Mr B
    Mr B trains up Mr C
    Mr C trains up Mr D and so on...

    Along the way, they take short cuts and the important things get lost/change along the way..
     
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  10. neil.r.benson

    neil.r.benson TowersStreet Member

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    "The court heard how there were estimated winds on the day of 45mph. But the manufacturer's manual said the ride should not be operated at speeds above 34 mph." Thats pretty shocking. Did anyone read the manual? Wasn't a wind speed monitor installed on the ride if this was a known limitation?
     
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  11. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

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    Pah! who reads instructions anyway, I buy Ikea flatpack, do I read the instructions?!
    No, I know best
    :rolleyes:

    Judge interrupts mitigation - "Has anyone resigned as a result of the incident." Merlin team shake heads "No"

    I thought they did?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26th Sep 2016
  12. Balb0wa

    Balb0wa TowersStreet Member

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    Did you not read this thread? thats shocking, the wind speed monitor addition to the ride has been covered.
     
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  13. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    Latest up date

    "Merlin Entertainments, the park’s sister company, has begun its defence.

    The barrister for Merlin says the company is otherwise “of good character” but they are “not seeking to diminish their acceptance of responsibility through their mitigation”."

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/alton-towers-smiler-crash-live-8914914


    "Merlin’s chief executive Nick Varney is sat listening in court as the company’s defence barrister speaks.

    The judge has asked if anyone has resigned since the incident – Merlin’s team shakes their heads: “No.”"
     
  14. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I don't believe anyone resigned as a result of what happened. Of course many jobs have been lost since and I don't think the ride operator works for Towers any longer.

    :)
     
  15. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Really? In my experience, the bigger the company, the more they try and save pennies by cutting corners. After all, they have huge legal teams that ensure the fat cats will get away with anything.
    Smaller companies actually have something to lose if things go wrong, so tend to care more about such things.
     
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  16. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Good point, Towers clearly thought that all staff were adequately trained so it would have been a case of complacency. I still stand by what I have said all along since it happened though, regardless of training, I do not understand how the staff (operator or tech services) did not count five trains on the circuit before performing a manual override of the system.

    It doesn't really matter much but Merlin are denying that the wind was the cause of the empty train stalling. They think it is more likely that the trim brakes slowed the train down more than they should have.

    :)
     
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  17. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

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    There we have it, good reason to ban and remove all trims from all rides :D
     
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  18. spinba11

    spinba11 TowersStreet Member

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    I've been on it when the train has hit the brakes before the 2nd lift too fast, it felt fast and the audio/video didn't work due to (I'm guessing) the train passing the sensor so fast that it didn't register. I've also been on it a few times when as we go over the 6th inversion I thought it was going to stall.
     
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  19. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Wait, so are they now trying to shift the blame on to Gerst?
     
  20. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    To be fair the consistent stalling is down to the somewhat poor design of the ride. The judge was also sceptical that the wind played a factor in the train stalling. I personally feel that it would have done and we know that they now do not operate the ride when the wind is above a certain level.

    :)
     
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