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Alton Towers to reopen following rollercoaster crash

Alton Towers is to reopen today for the first time since a rollercoaster crash left 16 people injured.

The theme park will open its gates from 10am, six days after two carriages on the Smiler ride collided.

However, the Smiler and three other rides – Oblivion, Enterprise and Sonic Spinball – will be closed until further notice.

Owners Merlin Entertainments said it had carried out “a thorough review” of operating and safety procedures and it was fully co-operating with the Health and Safety Executive.

The Smiler and Saw, a similar ride at Thorpe Park, will stay closed for the “foreseeable future”.

Merlin chief executive, Nick Varney, said it had been “a terrible event for everyone involved”.

He said: “Our thoughts remain with those who were seriously injured and we are doing everything we can to support them through this difficult time.

“It is an accident that should not have happened, and we are determined that it will never happen again.

“Whilst the investigation into the causes is continuing, we have identified a series of additional safety protocols that we are implementing immediately across our multi-car rollercoasters.

“These will act as an additional safeguard to further strengthen our operating and safety standards. This has been a devastating experience, and we are committed to learning the lessons from it.”

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