Operators of Alton Towers theme park, Merlin Attractions Operation Ltd are to be prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over the serious accident on the Smiler ride last june.

The accident, where a car carrying passengers smashed into a stationary car on the same track left five people with serious injuries, including two young women who suffered leg amputations. After a nine-month investigation HSE say they are satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to bring a prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work Act, and that this will be in the public interest.

The company will appear at court at Newcastle-under-Lyme in April and faces, if convicted, an unlimited fine. Any individuals held responsible could face up to two years in prison.

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