The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

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NemesisRider
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When someone was saying about how an accident should not be able to happen in the first place the blamed it on the designers (John Wardley) I asked them if they could design a coaster as ambitious, get it approved by the Staffordshire county board then make sure it could never ever go wrong at all. It's not a walk in the park and no matter how safe something is an accident could happen.

We all drive cars aware of the risk of crashing. We all eat food aware of the risk of food poisoning or other illnes. Heck, we even all breath despite knowing there could be pollution in the air that could poison us. Everything has risks, so why are roller coasters any worse?

Rant over ;)
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JaykeAT
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The mirror have just posted an article which suggests that the planned ride closures and the smiler incident are linked. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/al ... ar_twitter" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Can't help but feel as if they are just pulling it out of thin air now to exploit the incident for views. :roll:
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dazza4783
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The Smiler was designed as such that even with an empty train in normal circumstances it would be going fast enough to make it through the complete circuit without stalling. In the case of the accident, it was most likely a combination of it being a train that had just been put onto the circuit (cold wheels), no passangers (lighter train), and high winds (wind resistance slowing it down even further). The new train probably should have been sent with water dummies in it while the wheels warmed up a bit, but if it wasn't for the high winds would have made it round anyway. So I would say people blaming the ride design flaw are wrong. Most coasters have the potential to stall if the circumstances are just right (so to speak), hence why a lot of rides (a list which will surely now include The Smiler) have to be closed in high winds. That is what the wind speed measuring device has been put on it for.
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timmy1372
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118hazaman wrote:
timmy1372 wrote: She is also content that the same level of human error on other rides, such as nemesis, would not result in an accident, which is probably true, and she will still ride those!
Would she only not ride The Smiler, or every other multi-train roller coaster. It makes sense why on Nemesis a collision of that kind is unlikely, but what about Sonic Spinball?
Yep no Spinball or Saw at Thorpe either, I hate Saw anyway, far too rough!

That said the Sonic Spinball track is almost completely visible from the station, so it was always more unlikely!
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Themeparksandy1981
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NemesisRider wrote:When someone was saying about how an accident should not be able to happen in the first place the blamed it on the designers (John Wardley) I asked them if they could design a coaster as ambitious, get it approved by the Staffordshire county board then make sure it could never ever go wrong at all. It's not a walk in the park and no matter how safe something is an accident could happen.

We all drive cars aware of the risk of crashing. We all eat food aware of the risk of food poisoning or other illnes. Heck, we even all breath despite knowing there could be pollution in the air that could poison us. Everything has risks, so why are roller coasters any worse?

Rant over ;)
I don't think they care what type of ride it is it's the fact it was human error. On the radio on the way home many were calling it human careless.
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118hazaman
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timmy1372 wrote:
118hazaman wrote:
timmy1372 wrote: She is also content that the same level of human error on other rides, such as nemesis, would not result in an accident, which is probably true, and she will still ride those!
Would she only not ride The Smiler, or every other multi-train roller coaster. It makes sense why on Nemesis a collision of that kind is unlikely, but what about Sonic Spinball?
Yep no Spinball or Saw at Thorpe either, I hate Saw anyway, far too rough!

That said the Sonic Spinball track is almost completely visible from the station, so it was always more unlikely!
Fair enough then, I can see the point. I find saw a good change from the smoothness of The Swarm, it's got some great elements. Also, that's true about sonic. They'd definitely know if something happened on the track.
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It's happened twice in 36 years of the theme park being open though, I'll take those odds :) Also, it's even less likely to happen now, especially on the Smiler. I'm always a bit more nervous on flat rides really, probably cos of their carnival flavour.. but it's a good kind of nervous.
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Yunagirlamy
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You know, it's strange, but I'm hoping that there won't be a whole lot of people in the queue for The Smiler whilst also hoping there'll be so many the queue goes out of the entrance of The X-Sector.
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TheBeast
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Tbh im not even going to comment on the mirror. Ive said it in the past and ill say it again, id need to censor it all ;)

Is it confirmed the rides are being closed down? I thought it was a rumour, so are the Mirror just twisting that?
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Dan
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TheBeast wrote:Is it confirmed the rides are being closed down? I thought it was a rumour, so are the Mirror just twisting that?
It's just a rumour started by another Alton Towers fan site.

Nothing is confirmed until the park say so.
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TheBeast
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Ik it was on TowersStreet, i just wasnt sure whether it was actually now confirmed
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Slug3k
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Yep no Spinball or Saw at Thorpe either, I hate Saw anyway, far too rough!
I think that Saw isn't that rough at all. Love all of the elements of the ride. Would even argue that Sonic Spinball is 'rougher' that Saw. Either way I suppose it is down to opinion. I much prefer the rides with a bit of a feel to them and not too smooth such as The Swarm.
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oliverfox
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From the BBC:
Staff misunderstood a shutdown message and wrongly restarted the ride, an investigation by the park confirmed.
Could you see this as a panicked, knee-jerk reaction? Staff had never seen that type of shutdown message before (and despite hopefully being trained on it) had no idea how to clear it? Could the shutdown message have wrongly influenced the op to think a manual shutdown was required, when in fact the ride was looking for a different type of fix?
Have these extra safety protocols been a simple 'walkthrough' guide added to ride messages so that it tells you what to do in these scenarios? Rather than relying on staff remembering their training, and hopelessly wondering what to do in the case of an unusual / rare ride message.
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MakoMania
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Slug3k wrote:
Yep no Spinball or Saw at Thorpe either, I hate Saw anyway, far too rough!
I think that Saw isn't that rough at all. Love all of the elements of the ride. Would even argue that Sonic Spinball is 'rougher' that Saw. Either way I suppose it is down to opinion. I much prefer the rides with a bit of a feel to them and not too smooth such as The Swarm.
I thought SAW was super smooth back in October.
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xylyx
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Sawboss wrote: I'm always a bit more nervous on flat rides really, probably cos of their carnival flavour.. but it's a good kind of nervous.
Same here, but then I don't trust the fairground versions of rides at all. Despite the rigorous checks of the whole industry and the hse involvement etc it's hard to get over. There is one that sets up in the park over the road from us and they regularly bring a fabbri booster, which is intimidating to look at and just doesn't look safe at all . Yet if it was set up in AT I'd probably give it a go, albeit nervously.

I suspect an earlier poster may have hit the nail on the head, with regard to the warning message being overriden. That day had some terrible opperating conditions which would play merry hell with the sensors. Folks stated the ride was constantly shutting down so they may well have just had their fill of the warnings figured it was just the wind and made that horrible mistake which changed everything.

In terms of the new protocols I'm betting there is now a very rigid structure in place for these occurrences, and it wouldn't surprise me if there was a step by step guide outlining everything an opperator has to do when the estop triggers. Plus it will take a number of folk to do the override as the extra buttons which need pressing look over more hidden parts of the ride. As Sawboss said earlier, this will now be the safest ride in the park.
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MerlinFan
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And they'd be wise to just close it on very windy days so the risk of sensors misbehaving can be avoided altogether.
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Dan
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MerlinFan wrote:And they'd be wise to just close it on very windy days so the risk of sensors misbehaving can be avoided altogether.
Anemometers have been added to both the top of the station building and the top of the first lift hill.

I imagine that when it re-opens The Smiler will have a very strict limit on the maximum wind speed in which it can operate. I wouldn't be surprised if a wind speed monitor was added to the rides control panel so the operator can easily keep an eye on it and take the necessary action when the wind speed exceeds a certain limit.
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Aidan Lowe
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With 723 votes this poll on Twitter is pretty divided equally about their opinion on seeing it be allowed to re-open. I can't see the ride being busy when it does re-open naturally as people will be all too cautious about how well staff have been trained. We know differently but the GP will take some persuading.

HSE responded to a tweet here.
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timmy1372
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It is interesting that HSE reckon there investigation is still ongoing, yet the park have already said the ride will reopen next year! I think the timing of the release of this information by alton towers has been picked as the least damaging, while the park is closed but way ahead of the new season.
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Dan
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timmy1372 wrote:It is interesting that HSE reckon there investigation is still ongoing, yet the park have already said the ride will reopen next year!
The HSE investigation doesn't need to be finished for the ride to re-open, it's only the prohibition notice that needs to be lifted (which is suspected to have already happened)
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