Nearly 200 jobs are being axed at Merlin Entertainment’s Alton Towers theme park due to lower takings following the June accident on the £18 million Smiler extreme roller-coaster.

Five people were seriously injured, with two young women both losing a leg.

Merlin say that the accident, in which a car with 18 passengers in it smashed into a stationary one at 50mph was caused by human error in which controls that should have prevented the crash were over-ridden in error by a member of their staff. They plan to re-open the ride next year with some extra safety controls in place, and to continue selling it as safe fun to both the leisure and corporate markets.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have still to report.

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