Alton Towers crash: Merlin shares fall as it shuts more roller-coasters

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Alton Towers has been closed since a horrific accident on the 14-loop Smiler on Tuesday.

Sixteen people were injured, four seriously, when two of the 50 mph ride’s carriages collided.

Two rollercoasters at Chessington World of Adventures – Dragon’s Fury and Rattlesnake – as well as Thorpe Park’s Saw ride, have also been shut down in the wake of the accident.

Merlin said in a statement today that the company has been conducting “a thorough review and investigation of the events that led up to the incident and of its safety and operating processes”.

“As a consequence, two rollercoaster rides have been withdrawn from service until the new safety protocols have been applied,” it added.

Merlin, which also owns Madame Tussauds, saw its shares tumble on Wednesday morning, though they later recovered.

The shares were back in the red today, dropping around 1% to 442.3p.


Reports yesterday suggested it could cost Merlin £500,000 for every day Alton Towers’ doors are shut.

A spokeswoman for the theme park said the Staffordshire complex was expected to remain closed for the next few days.


Merlin chief executive Nick Varney said: “This has been a terrible experience for everyone involved and one we sincerely regret. 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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June 6, 2015 |
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