Alton Towers is blaming 'human error' for a rollercoaster crash which seriously injured 5 people

The Smiler rollercoaster at Alton TowersGettyThe Smiler rollercoaster crashed on June 2, seriously injuring five people

A rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers was caused by human error after a manual override of a safety control system.

Two carriages on The Smiler ride, built at a cost of £18 million, collided with each other on June 2, seriously injuring five people.

Passengers Leah Washington, 17, and Victoria Balch, 20, both had limbs amputated as a result of the incident. In total 16 people were injured after the crash at the Staffordshire theme park.

Merlin group, which operates the popular UK attraction, announced the findings of an investigation carried out into the crash on Tuesday.

An emailed statement from the company said:

The investigation concluded that the incident was the result of human error culminating in the manual override of the ride safety control system without the appropriate protocols being followed.

The investigation also identified areas where protocols and the training of employees should be improved. There were found to be no technical or mechanical problems with the ride itself.

Alton Towers continues to provide help and support to all of those who were on the ride when the incident happened.

It has taken full responsibility for the incident and continues to co-operate with the on-going Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation.

We are confident that lessons have been learned and that appropriate action has been taken to address all the issues raised by our investigation and we believe our core conclusions will be in line with the HSE findings.

A helicopter airlifts people to hospital after the Alton Towers crashGettyThe crash has cost Merlin Entertainments millions

Merlin Entertainments is the world’s second biggest attractions operator and the group suffered weak summer trade following the crash.

In September it was announced that like-for-like sales at Merlin’s theme parks unit had fallen 11.4% with group profit forecast to be around the £249 million posted in 2014.

“Although difficult to assess at this stage, we continue to believe that there may be an ongoing adverse impact on the resort theme parks operating group profitability in 2016,” the group added.

Also seriously injured with Balch and Washington were Joe Pugh, Daniel Thorpe, and Chanda Chauhan.

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