Merlin Entertainments faces paying a multimillion pound fine after admitting the company breached health and safety laws.
Merlin Entertainments, owner of Alton Towers theme park, is facing the fine after admitting it breached health and safety, in relations to an accident that caused injures to five people and catastrophic injures to three young adults.
In June 2015 the park’s ride Smiler was involved in a collision with a stationary carriage, after a member of staff overrode the system, resulting in two requiring leg amputations.
The guilty plea would make the park the first major theme park to have admitted a criminal breach of health and safety.
A total of sixteen people were injured on the Smiler ride that can reach 50mph. Passengers were trapped 25ft off the ground for four and a half hours as medics battled to rescue them.
The firm will be expected to face an unlimited fine, after it is sentenced at a later date.
The ride reopened in March 2016, five months after the crash which the two girls who required leg amputations, Vicky Balch and Leah Washington have criticised, claiming the owners care about money more than the safety of the customers.
At court the company was alleged to have breached health and safety law section 3(1) that states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”
The entertainment group has said it has suffered a significant fall in the numbers of visitors since the accident, which caused the park to close for four days as the company underwent investigations into the crash.