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Merlin Attractions Operation Ltd, the operator of Alton Towers, has been fined £5m following a prosecution by the HSE. The company pleaded guilty at Stafford Crown Court, thereby receiving a reduction in the fine imposed. Stafford Crown Court heard that on the day of the incident engineers overrode the Smiler’s control system without the knowledge and understanding to ensure it was safe to do so.
An HSE investigation found no fault with the track, the cars or the control system that keeps the cars apart from each other when the ride is running.Investigators found the root cause to be a lack of detailed, robust arrangements for making safety critical decisions. The whole system, from training through to fixing faults, was not strong enough to stop a series of errors by staff when working with people on the ride.
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