ONE of the men injured in Tuesday’s (June 2) Alton Towers rollercoaster crash remains in a Coventry hospital.
The 27-year-old man was airlifted to University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire after sustaining ‘life-changing’ lower leg injuries when his carriage collided with a stationary, unoccupied carriage on ‘The Smiler’ ride at the Stafforshire theme park.
He and three other occupants – two teenage girls, aged 17 and 19, and a 18-year-old boy – believed to be sat at the front of the carriage, were the most seriously injured in the accident.
The three teenagers were airlifted to Royal Stoke University Hospital for emergency treatment.
The remaining 12 occupants in the carriage, six women and six men, suffered less serious injuries and were released by paramedics, doctors and crews from West Midlands Ambulance Service, three Midlands Air Ambulances, and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.
A spokesperson from West Midlands Ambulance Service said: “A platform was built in order for emergency services to reach the occupants on the ride who were approximately 25 feet up in the air at an angle of about 45 degrees.
“The focus on the emergency services was to treat and release four of the occupants who were the most seriously injured.
“All four were given advanced trauma care, pain relief and immobilisation and were each carefully extricated from the ride and onto the platform before being lowered to the ground.”
The other 12 people in the carriage were released one at a time over a time period of four hours and lowered to the ground in order for a further assessment of their condition.
One of the 12, a man in his 20’s was treated for neck and abdominal injury and was taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital by land ambulance for further assessment and treatment.
This is not the first time the safety of ‘The Smiler’ has been called into question since it opened two years ago.
In July 2013 the rollercoaster, which includes a world record 14 loops, was closed after a bolt was seen to fall from the ride and was closed again later the same year when plastic guard wheels came loose and hit front-row riders.
The Alton Towers park is closed until further notice to enable investigations into the incident to be carried out.