South Yorkshire man witnesses horrific Alton Towers rollercoaster crash

The scene at Alton Towers, following a crash on the Smiler Rollercoaster. Picture courtesty of Chris Lockwood.
The scene at Alton Towers, following a crash on the Smiler Rollercoaster. Picture courtesty of Chris Lockwood.

This was the scene at Alton Towers today, as a South Yorkshire man witnessed the horrific moment two carriages on the Smiler rollercoaster crashed into each other.

The accident, at around 2.09pm, involved a moving carriage with 16 passengers and an empty, stationary carriage which came together on a low section of the track.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said that four teenagers - two males and two females - were seriously injured in the crash, while the other 12 occupants required triage.

Chris Lockwood, of Rotherham, was visiting the Staffordshire-based theme park when the crash occurred.

The 49-year-old went on the Smiler rollercoaster earlier today, and was just moments away from riding on it again when the collision occurred.

Commenting on Facebook, he said: “We was just about to go on it again.

He added: “We witnessed it.”

The £18 million rollercoaster, which boasts a world record-breaking 14 loops, has been closed on two occasions because of safety concerns since opening two years ago.

Visitors to Alton Towers reported on social media that the ride had broken down earlier today.

An Alton Towers spokeswoman said: “The emergency services including the air ambulance are now in attendance and are assisting resort staff as they work to evacuate those 16 people still on the ride.

“We can confirm that four guests have sustained serious injuries, and they are being treated at the scene until they can be evacuated.

“There will be a full investigation once all the guests have been evacuated, which is our priority.”

Three air ambulances attended the scene together with four ambulances and several senior paramedic managers.

A platform was built to help emergency services reach the occupants of the ride, who were approximately 25 feet up in the air at an angle of around 45 degrees.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue said it had sent four pumps, a rescue tender, rope rescue and an aerial ladder to the incident.