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An investigation is underway at Alton Towers today following a rollercoaster crash on the smiler ride - yesterday which seriously injured four people.
Bosses at the Staffordshire based theme park say it's the worst incident that's ever happened in its history.
Two men and two women have been airlifted to major trauma centres with significant leg injuries and 12 other people have been brought to safety after it happened.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to Alton Towers Resort at 2.09pm to reports that a carriage of “The Smiler” had collided with a stationary unoccupied carriage. Community first responders based at the theme park were first on scene. Four ambulances, three Midlands Air Ambulances from Strensham, Cosford and Tatenhill, the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, a MERIT trauma doctor and three BASICS doctors, paramedics from the Trusts Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) and several senior paramedic managers are currently in attendance.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “There were 16 occupants on board the carriage which collided with a stationary unoccupied carriage. 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 Trust’s HART paramedics, doctors, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Alton Towers’ rope rescue staff worked at height to carefully release and treat the occupants. The focus on the emergency services was to treat and release four of the occupants who were the most seriously injured.
“Two males (18 years and 27 years) and two females (19 years and 17 years) sustained lower leg injuries. 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 27 years old male was then airlifted to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire whilst the others were flown to Royal Stoke University Hospital for further emergency treatment.
“The remaining 12 occupants, six women and six men, suffered less serious injuries. They 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 twelve, a male in his 20s was treated for neck and abdominal injury and was taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital by land ambulance for further assessment and treatment.”
According to the official website of The Smiler, the £18m ride is the world's first 14 looping rollercoaster. It opened in May 2013.