Jump to content
Ian-S

The Smiler Incident 02/06/2015

Recommended Posts

It would seem I have been misinformed.

I've operated Storm Surge, which has 5 cameras, only about 40% of the ride is actually visible from the cameras.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope the story on one of them has had a leg amputated isn't true, and wish them all the best with recovery and lucky they're alive.

 

I just can't stop thinking about it, and still in shock how it even happened... I have thoughts in my mind all the time of rides breaking down on me, as I can't cope being stuck for a long time getting claustrophobic, but honestly would never think something so serious like this could happen, and more to the point noone can get there head round the reason why! It wouldn't put me off going on rides, and given the appropriate time and measures if/when the smiler reopens I would ride it; of course I'd be scared, but you don't get scared of driving every day etc.

 

I still want to smash my head against a wall, reading these media reports and peoples comments on facebook, some people know how to dwell and exaggerate on the past... as well as base the future in general on one incident.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nearly everybody have asked me today whether I'm still going in the couple weeks, my answer is of course if the park is open I'll be there, one said they would never go on another rollercoaster to which I responded I hope you've cancelled your holiday in Spain then because you're going to have to get on a plane to get there and they crash too, it instantly shut them up and bought them back to earth from the media hysteria.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My thoughts are with the people still in hospital, I really hope that they recover as best as possible.

 

 

With regards to what caused the incident, I've been doing some thinking - this is a purely hypothetical view, I do not know much about the operation of rides but I am just trying to make sense of what has gone wrong.

 

Suppose that the ride was loaded with people and, by mistake, the train dispatched with the ride still in maintenance mode.  This has already been discussed as a possibility by people on forums.  Then, maybe it stopped on the lifthill because the ride sensed something was wrong?  Surely even in maintenance mode it would register that the train was heavier than the others?

 

If the ride was then put back into the normal mode for operating with guests in, would it register the stalled train?  Considering that it isn't actually on a block, and the ride would have effectively been reset, would the ride's computer systems actually be able to detect it?  Therefore, could it be possible that the lifthill started up again automatically?


I don't know much about the operation of rides, but for those who do, could this possibly be what happened?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the things that always goes through my mind before going on a rollercoaster is the thought of us stalling and being hit by another train  (I've always known it's near enough impossible but ..) although it's usually X I'm on when that crosses my mind..

 

Can't imagine how these people must have felt, one of the main reassuring factors for people that are scared before a ride is to tell themselves it's completely safe, so this is really devastating  :mellow:

 

One thing irking me is all the ridiculous 'demonstrations' of what happened on news sites, how apparently the ride can be stopped mid-loop, also the uneducated comments saying the ride ops should be blamed when these people clearly haven't the least clue of how roller coasters work 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even if Maintenance mode you should never be at a stage where a human can crash this state of the art ride, in any way shape or form. 

 

With the injured people (who I think we all wish a safe and speedy recovery) there is also the damage to Alton's and Merlin's reputation, the fact this thing cost £18 million to build not to mention the continuous marketing and promotional material attached to it, if I owned a park and the coaster manufacturer said that's £18 million but if you leave it in the wrong mode it will crash, no one in there right mind would buy it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All pleasure activities can be dangerous Zach, just ask Leslie Ash.

Perhaps it's my age but I don't consider any of these rides 100% safe, I was an engineer by trade so know that no matter how many precautions you take, bad things happen, but nor do I go around expecting everything to break on me. I'm happy to take the risk. The ride didn't 'break' in the literal sense either, from what little info we have the accident was caused by a computer or human error (or a combination of both), of which both could just as easily happen on the way to the park in a car, or in the plane going to Spain.

Now if the track needed weekly rebuilding because it was tearing itself apart, or collisions were a regular occurrence, I would think twice yes, indeed I would, but not at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing irking me is all the ridiculous 'demonstrations' of what happened on news sites, how apparently the ride can be stopped mid-loop, also the uneducated comments saying the ride ops should be blamed when these people clearly haven't the least clue of how roller coasters work

My wife just told me to stop watching the news cos I kept shouting at the TV whenever they were saying that LOL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still sure that if you were to go back to yesterday just before the accident, and you somehow knew the ride could break at any time, I don't think you would be riding the smiler. That's the difference, a rollercoaster is something we do for entertainment, a form of entertainment we think is perfectly safe, anyone who uses the argument "x thing we do everyday is more dangerous" really needs to consider the differences. Yes planes crash, yes you could die of some unknown disease at any time, but no, people go on rollercoasters under the assumption they are fully safe. And I did some rather dodgy maths and came to the conclusion you are more likely to be injured on the Smiler (if you ride it obviously) than you are to win the lottery. So yeah.

There was quite an interesting article released from The Guardian today that rollercoasters really aren't as dangerous as people make them out to be and you are certainly more likely to be injured from another everyday cause than riding a rollercoaster. Here's the article, I can't say statistics used are genuinely correct however it's an interesting read:

"Sometimes being scared is half the fun. That’s certainly the case when it comes to rollercoasters: the adrenaline rush we ride them for is all the wilder for the slight panic many of us feel as the carriage makes its slow climb to the top as the ride begins.

Such fear is made real by the fact that the rides do, on rare occasions, go very wrong. This week’s accident on the Smiler ride at Alton Towers thankfully had no fatalities, but left 16 injured, four of them seriously, and has led to the park remaining closed on Wednesday and Thursday.

But how dangerous are rollercoasters? There isn’t a good, comprehensive answer on this – no one collects global statistics, and it’s also not fair to compare a rickety coaster in a travelling fair to a state-of-the-art fixed coaster. It is fair to say that they are broadly pretty safe, though: much like plane accidents, every rollercoaster crash is news – precisely because they are quite rare.

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions – maybe not a totally unbiased source – wants to reassure you that parks are really quite safe. It gathered statistics based on the number of injuries per million activity days, and found that for rides in theme parks, there were eight injuries for each million days. By contrast, playing (American) football was 40 times more dangerous, at 343 injuries, and even fishing was far riskier, at 88 injuries per million days.

Such figures tie in with a broader truth: what we are scared of isn’t what is going to kill us. Driving, cycling, climbing the stairs or smoking a cigarette are all dangerous, but it’s a rare person who recoils in terror from a daily task. Murderers, plane rides and spiders all seem far scarier by contrast.

This familiarity bias makes us bad at the risks we face in daily life. One approach to try to quantify such dangers is the “micromort” – a term for a one-in-a-million chance of death. Professor David Nutt famously got into trouble for noting, correctly, that taking ecstasy had about the same risks as going horse riding (0.5 micromorts each).

A 200-mile motorbike trip (roughly London to Manchester) is about as dangerous as serving a day of active duty for UK forces in Afghanistan was, at around 33 micromorts each. And your risk of being murdered on a mile-long walk home from work is about 20 times smaller than your being hit by a car as you walk – but even knowing that, the former stays scarier.

So the good news is that what you are scared of almost certainly won’t kill you. The bad news – you knew it was coming – is that it’s what you feel fine about that will. The drive to the airport is more likely to kill you than the flight – and your diet, your drinking or your ageing body, is far more likely to do so than either.

A final figure for you: if you are reading this in the UK, your average chance of dying today, from any cause, is one in 41,667. So, ah, good luck out there, guys."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just going to add, if Smiler is anything similar to SAW, when trains have been moved around manually they have to execute a Block Reset to inform the PLC where the trains are on the track and what block us free.

If this was the case and the block was reset to say it was empty this could be the reason the train departed the lift.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the love of God will someone tweet the BBC and tell them the empty car didn't get stuck at the top of a 'loop' and the collision didn't happen there either, for a supposedly professional organisation they really haven't proof read the ****ing script or thought about things logically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may be a little off topic but what on earth is cam 15 showing and why is it needed. 

 

Is that near the shop? Looks like some sort of access gate, so maybe to make sure no-one climbs over it? :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may be a little of topic but what on earth is cam 15 showing and why is it needed. 

 

Looks like the area around the shop / some general plaza for the ride?  Probably needed because there's some track nearby and it's needed to show in case anyone trespasses?  

 

---

 

On the note of 'stopping at the top of the loop' thing, it's frustrating to hear because not only is it complete rubbish, but if it actually had stopped, then valleyed, it would have had less impact with the other car and potentially have caused less damage than it actually has done.. :/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How big are those screen? Each segment doesn't seem to be of decent enough qualify to make out the track let alone a stationary car (I know it's a photo and thank you for posting it, I'm just trying to imagine how someone would accidentilly miss a car stopped on the track).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dunno but as a post-thought, cam nine seems more focused on the pit below the track than the track itself, but I don't know the ride that well so could be wrong.

Also LC, that link you posted to the HSE statement, I read it earlier and had to laugh at the editors note bit where it essentially said ride operators had to minimise risk, if park operators took HSE guidelines to the extreme like some industries do, there wouldn't be rides as they'd all break HSE guidelines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has it actually been confirmed that someone has lost a leg? Everyone in my class today were convinced that they had all had their legs amputated. Thanks Daily Fail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

from what I have been told about the screens it is actually very clear and the track section is more than clearly visible in real life, so it is just that the picture isn't amazing quality :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...