Merlin pledges to compensate those hurt in Smiler crash

Alton Towers has accepted “full responsibility” for the rollercoaster crash which left one victim with her leg amputated above the knee.

The Merlin Entertainments-owned theme park pledged to compensate all those injured in the accident a week ago on The Smiler ride.

Seventeen-year-old Leah Washington, from Barnsley, suffered what her family described as a “life-changing” injury.

She was reported to have been on her first date with 18-year-old Joe Pugh, who has been treated for two broken knees and hand injuries.

Two other people were seriously hurt and 12 others injured in the collision at the theme park in Staffordshire, which reopened yesterday.

Alton Towers said in a statement that it had written to all 16 of the injured or their families.

It said: “Irrespective of the outcome of the current investigations into the causes of the accident, in these letters we have accepted full responsibility to those who had been injured in the accident and confirmed that we will ensure that compensation will be provided to them.

“We have recommended each of the injured guests or their families instruct a lawyer and submit a claim for compensation which we will ensure is dealt with swiftly and sensitively.”

Paul Paxton, head of personal injury at Stewarts Law, told Sky News: “I will be meeting with the solicitors acting for Merlin and its insurers this week to discuss the early release of money to assist with financial hardship and rehabilitation.”

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