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Alton Towers Discussion Thread


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Was just looking for the Air story, yes 20 minutes stuck on a lifthill, not so bad. Apparantely though two cars actually collided on Spinball on Tuesday? Very slowly but nonetheless the media have 'Second crash' headlines...

 

www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/alton-towers-rollercoaster-crash-man-5987141

 

Statement from the park:

The theme park said in a statement: “Alton Towers Resort puts the health and safety of its guests at the forefront of everything it does, which means that from time to time rides will be closed to allow for technical issues to be reviewed. All rides are performing exactly as they are designed to do – including computer and process controlled shut downs which do happen.

 

“There has been an instance of this on Sonic Spinball. Two cars in the station area nudged each other at walking pace. The guests on the two cars walked off and we advised that they attend our medical centre as a precautionary measure. The ride reopened shortly afterwards.”

 

Seems some people were stuck on the monorail for an hour too.

 

Whilst nobody was really in any danger, it all couldn't come at a worse time, and so many small issues at once too.

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I do not trust Gerstlauer right now, I will try and steer clear of their rides.

Seriously? Do you even know all of the kinds of roller coasters and flat rides that Gerstlauer makes and has made earlier in their history? You could be riding a Gerstlauer ride and not even realize it! The last thing that that company needs right now is people refusing to ride their attractions!

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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The British media is going to kill Alton Tower's attendance this season....ugh

It's such a shame, too. The US media did it to SeaWorld and now the Brits are doing it to Alton Towers. It just amazes me the world we live in today where a "headline" and shock news reporting is waaaaaaay more important than people actually having a good time.

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My visit last Sunday was definitely much quieter than I would have normally expected. Had a fun day though and rode everything I wanted. It is annoying to see the media reporting on every little thing that seems to happen there.

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The British media is going to kill Alton Tower's attendance this season....ugh

It's such a shame, too. The US media did it to SeaWorld and now the Brits are doing it to Alton Towers. It just amazes me the world we live in today where a "headline" and shock news reporting is waaaaaaay more important than people actually having a good time.

 

The British media love a bandwagon to jump on. This Sonic incident would never have seen the light of cyberspace a couple of months ago.

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The British media is going to kill Alton Tower's attendance this season....ugh

That's certainly part of the problem, but the far more serious problem is that people appear to be perfectly content with whatever is being spoon-fed to them without considering it for themselves; they're enabling it. Social media has complicated things and made a bad situation worse because everyone wants to be the first to break a story, accuracy and accountability be damned. This has actually ruined lives (Boston Marathon? Suddenly everyone can be a detective!).

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Just watched the live interview on TV with Joe Pugh, one of the victims of the crash and his first TV interview.

 

The interview was done very respectfully and I thought the questions asked were fair and just. They weren't out to attack Alton Towers like many media forms and journalists seem to be doing.

 

He seemed quite upbeat and his attitude towards the whole thing was inspiring. Despite two shattered knees, a finger basically falling off, and a compound fracture in one of his hands. Determined to walk despite being put in a wheelchair for the moment.

 

He said he didn't blame Alton Towers, and that it would be unfair to blame anyone until the happenings are released. Which I agree with.

 

Such a tragic accident and his telling of the story from his eyes was quite chilling. I'm sure this interview will be online soon enough.

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Just watched the live interview on TV with Joe Pugh, one of the victims of the crash and his first TV interview.

 

The interview was done very respectfully and I thought the questions asked were fair and just. They weren't out to attack Alton Towers like many media forms and journalists seem to be doing.

 

He seemed quite upbeat and his attitude towards the whole thing was inspiring. Despite two shattered knees, a finger basically falling off, and a compound fracture in one of his hands. Determined to walk despite being put in a wheelchair for the moment.

 

He said he didn't blame Alton Towers, and that it would be unfair to blame anyone until the happenings are released. Which I agree with.

 

Such a tragic accident and his telling of the story from his eyes was quite chilling. I'm sure this interview will be online soon enough.

 

For those interested in seeing the interview: http://www.itv.com/news/2015-07-08/rollercoaster-victim-joe-pugh-tells-itv-news-im-not-angry-at-alton-towers/

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I went to alton towers today for a school trip and was reasonably quiet. But what i found most interesting there was that part of the audio in oblivion's station seemed to be cut. The line " Welcome to eternal darkness" was not said and i found that rather odd. I have suspicion that it was because of the recent incident but only it was unusual to cut one line out.

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I was at the park on the day of the crash, I was not in line for the smiler as it was down for technical problems on the morning. There was staff at the doors of the entrance saying that the ride will open soon but they dont know when. They sent around 40 trains before they loaded one with people on, The last 5 had nothing on the car. There was a bit of wind before the accident and there was a few times the ride was slow over the inversion in which it stalled on. There was no problem with the cars with the weights on, Just the empty ones. The last empty car was just coming off the lift hill when the loaded car was at the bottom successfully stopped. The reason the train was here was so there was trains constantly going into the station (what is normal for when a ride is opening to get loading times right) Anyways, When the test train (train B) left the lift hill, Train A (Loaded with people) ascended the lift hill. Train B Stalled on the batwing when train A was half way up the lift hill at this time, Around 5 sec. later, the train stopped around 7/8th's of the way up (just before it starts to bank over) and the riders were told they would be evacuated as soon as possible. For around 20 Min the rides train was stopped on the lift hill at the same part of the track until the lift hill reset and started up. Train A was onto the main track a few seconds after the lift hill reset, Passing through the track to the batwing element were the stalled train was. The noise was not a bang, It was more of a noise when you hit 2 forks together but on a much larger scale. It was a loud noise, I was closer to oblivion and thought id hear it from the hex entrance. I walked over and seen crowds of people peeking through the fence at the accident, I could see the people in the line all taking photos and a few of the riders in the car shouting "Help" and "Stop taking photos" Ect. There was 2 people who ran through to the shop and told the people in the shop what happened and a member of staff came out to look and ran back into the shop to the exit of the smiler.Around 5 min later loads of ambulances came into a park followed by a helicopter and alot of staff on wagons bringing platforms. People are saying the accident was delayed, But there was action taken within 1 min of the accident by the park, However ambulances were at a delay. There was park first aid talking to the riders giving them pills straight away. I never really seen if there was much blood, I just heard the crowd saying "omg" and swear words frequently. For respect, I left the area. I dont have any photo's as i thought it was extremely disrespectful that so many were taking photos and people were sending the flying camera gadgets over the ride. I found this offensive. I didn't call any services as i thought alton would have and some guests would have due to the amount of people in the q-line. I thought the lines would have been spammed and i didn't want to add to it.

 

As an overview, Alton towers did alot to stop the accident but due to the lift hill reset the ride stopped. I think it could have been solved if emergency staff acted faster within the 20 min of the riders on the lift hill however after the crash i was impressed in how many staff were helping constructing the pathway to get everyone of safely on a steady surface, I think it was a good decision to make the platform some of the people who got off would of jest fell over due to the bankment of the ride.

 

I give full respect for the people in the accident and hope the ride will reopen, However i think before they send empty cars, they should send loaded cars with weight in.

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Oh hold on... that's interesting and something I never realised, new information... after the train on the lift hill stopped there was an announcement saying they were going to be evacuated? So clearly the operators were aware of the stalled train... (as I'd kind of hope they would be actually, especially after a 20 minute hold)

 

That really changes the context of the accident for me, the fact that the operators/engineers were fully aware of the stalled car and intended to bring the lift-hill car back down (after evacuating first I presume) but something happened after those 20 minutes to make the car accidentally go forward off the lift hill against the operators/engineers intentions?!

 

Must admit I'm a little more confused now, I don't understand how that's possible from an operations point of view, it's not exactly easy to over-ride the safeties and push the car into an occupied block, it's a properly concious effort sequence, not just a single "oops, wrong button". I would presume the normal procedure in this situation would be to isolate the whole ride and make it safe, evacuate folks down the lift hill steps, then maintenance mode and reverse the lift-hill car down and then somehow pull the stalled car through/off (crane I guess)

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I'm still wrapping my head around how the trains were allowed in the same block, especially when it was from a lift hill and not a MCBR that could have misfire and failed to stop the train... I'm really intrigued to see where the fault was made...

 

And in regards to smiler reopening any time soon, I think it's fair to say at this point were not sure if it WILL reopen, all the branding was removed prior to reopening the park after the accident...

 

I'm glad to hear that some of those injured are understanding and are getter better!

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I'd be very surprised if there was an announcement that the riders would be evacuated. I've not once heard anything like this on any of the rides at Alton Towers. In these cases staff walk up the lift hill and speak to the stuck riders in person, not over a loud speaker for everyone to hear. Also if it was an evacuation situation, I would imagine they would have closed the queue line completely and removed all guests from it.

 

With regards to The Smiler never reopening, it's highly unlikely that, that will ever happen. This is an £18 million investment. Yes it has been involved in a tragic accident, which should never have happened, and has really hurt some unfortunate people, but worse incidents have occurred on other rides around the world and those rides are still operating. The press are spinning the 'may never reopen' line for dramatic effect, but they have no basis for this claim. I'm fairly sure The Smiler will remain closed for the rest of the season, regardless of when the investigation is completed, purely from a PR point of view, come next season the buzz about it will have died down and they'll be able to reopen it without as much attention as they would get this year.

 

Now that Saw has reopened at Thorpe Park, it suggests to me that they may have found the cause of the incident, as I would not have expected them to reopen Saw, until the cause was found and that they could guarantee that it could not affect Saw's operation, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

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Oh hold on... that's interesting and something I never realised, new information... after the train on the lift hill stopped there was an announcement saying they were going to be evacuated? So clearly the operators were aware of the stalled train... (as I'd kind of hope they would be actually, especially after a 20 minute hold)

 

That really changes the context of the accident for me, the fact that the operators/engineers were fully aware of the stalled car and intended to bring the lift-hill car back down (after evacuating first I presume) but something happened after those 20 minutes to make the car accidentally go forward off the lift hill against the operators/engineers intentions?!

 

Must admit I'm a little more confused now, I don't understand how that's possible from an operations point of view, it's not exactly easy to over-ride the safeties and push the car into an occupied block, it's a properly concious effort sequence, not just a single "oops, wrong button". I would presume the normal procedure in this situation would be to isolate the whole ride and make it safe, evacuate folks down the lift hill steps, then maintenance mode and reverse the lift-hill car down and then somehow pull the stalled car through/off (crane I guess)

 

The staff were at the bottom of the lift before the trains lift reset, A few people told me an alarm went of at the bottom of the lift however i am not 100% about this.

 

I'm still wrapping my head around how the trains were allowed in the same block, especially when it was from a lift hill and not a MCBR that could have misfire and failed to stop the train... I'm really intrigued to see where the fault was made...

 

And in regards to smiler reopening any time soon, I think it's fair to say at this point were not sure if it WILL reopen, all the branding was removed prior to reopening the park after the accident...

 

I'm glad to hear that some of those injured are understanding and are getter better!

The block brakes failed and a lift hill sensor stopped the car.

 

I wonder if The Smiler will be closed for the remainder of the season, or if it has a chance of reopening before the fall?

It has been testing, Theres nothing official but there has been many days were trains have been around the track and people have been around the ride inspecting it. Your probably aware of all the logo's being removed and all the merch regarding the smiler. However alton towers still have trade marked all the saying and "the smiler" trade marked and represented so i dont think it will be closing or atleast confirmed by the park.

 

I'm still wrapping my head around how the trains were allowed in the same block, especially when it was from a lift hill and not a MCBR that could have misfire and failed to stop the train... I'm really intrigued to see where the fault was made...

 

And in regards to smiler reopening any time soon, I think it's fair to say at this point were not sure if it WILL reopen, all the branding was removed prior to reopening the park after the accident...

 

I'm glad to hear that some of those injured are understanding and are getter better!

Yeah, They are recovering fine. Gertslaur vans have been spotted in staff car parking so im sure they will be taking a fare amout of blame. After all 2 sets of block brakes failed and it was a lift hill sensor what stopped the train, Followed by a reset. Im sure there will be part blame on alton towers for dispatching a car when one was on the lift hill however to run 5 cars on a ride, 1 would be on the block when another is going up (this is the same as oblivion) The ride was running with 2 on the track and 2 at the brake run meaning 5 cars were on the track, What is normal as they are running it at full capacity lately. My overview of this is that it should reopen and is safe, However they should test the ride and not run it in winds, Due to the direction of the wind as its in a large open area were the ride stalled, Alot of wind can be hitting the ride at that park and it needs to be under more control.

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Oh hold on... that's interesting and something I never realised, new information... after the train on the lift hill stopped there was an announcement saying they were going to be evacuated? So clearly the operators were aware of the stalled train... (as I'd kind of hope they would be actually, especially after a 20 minute hold)

 

That really changes the context of the accident for me, the fact that the operators/engineers were fully aware of the stalled car and intended to bring the lift-hill car back down (after evacuating first I presume) but something happened after those 20 minutes to make the car accidentally go forward off the lift hill against the operators/engineers intentions?!

 

Must admit I'm a little more confused now, I don't understand how that's possible from an operations point of view, it's not exactly easy to over-ride the safeties and push the car into an occupied block, it's a properly concious effort sequence, not just a single "oops, wrong button". I would presume the normal procedure in this situation would be to isolate the whole ride and make it safe, evacuate folks down the lift hill steps, then maintenance mode and reverse the lift-hill car down and then somehow pull the stalled car through/off (crane I guess)

This Whole Incident is a Total Failure of SOPs. When you operate a Coaster with Multiple Trains, it's always about Location, Location, Location. No one visually checked and verified the location of all Trains in the System and restarted the Lift, sending a loaded Train into the system where a train had stalled.

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^Has it tested more than once already since the incident? i was certain it was only the once back in June, the HSE were running it and Alton put up a notice about it.

 

no, when ive been in line for oblivion for last ride of the day, around 1 hour after park shuts they test it, All day they have people on the tracks and around the structure

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If someone would be son kind as to answer a question for me. When a car valleys like the one the first one did if there was no accident how do they move them out of the way?

 

In China, a guy comes out and pushes the coaster with a long stick.

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If someone would be son kind as to answer a question for me. When a car valleys like the one the first one did if there was no accident how do they move them out of the way?

 

In China, a guy comes out and pushes the coaster with a long stick.

 

It's actually a child that does that in China now.

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