Alton Towers Smiler ride ‘may never reopen’
Victims of the Smiler rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers have received their first insurance payments and a law firm says the ride may never reopen.
Stewarts Law, which represents eight of those injured after the crash on 2 June, said interim payments have been released to assist the victims’ rehabilitation.
The law firm also signalled it could be the end of the road for the £18m ride.
After a meeting with the Health and Safety Inspectorate, Paul Paxton of Stewarts Law, said: “The ride is likely to remain closed for a significant period of time; indeed it may never open again. The families are reassured that every angle is being thoroughly covered.”
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Mr Paxton, head of personal injury at the firm, also added: “The families are satisfied that no expense is being spared in the investigation into what caused the accident on the Smiler ride at Alton Towers. The Health and Safety Inspectorate made it clear that the requisite multidisciplinary expertise was in place.”
The theme park was closed for six days after two carriages collided on the ride, in which 16 people were left suspended above the ground. Four of them were seriously injured.
Stewarts Law is acting on behalf of Joe Pugh, 18, Vicky Balch, 20, 17-year-old Leah Washington, and five others.
Miss Washington, who had a leg amputated, could receive several million pounds in compensation, her lawyer said.
Payouts will also be made to her boyfriend Mr Pugh, a student at the University of Huddersfield, whose kneecaps shattered in the collision.