Alton Towers Case Brings Third Biggest UK Fine
Alton Towers were fined £5M.
The owner of Alton Towers has been fined a record £5M for the “catastrophic” rollercoaster crash that left five passengers with life-changing injuries and others seriously hurt.
The Judge, Michael Chambers QC, said Merlin Attractions Operations’ safety procedures were “woefully inadequate” and a “shambles” in scathing criticism over the Smiler crash on 2nd June last year.
He added: “This was a needless and avoidable accident in which those injured were fortunate not to have been killed or to have bled to death.”
The company apologised to the victims and offered them support “for as long as they need it” and added: “Alton Towers and the wider Merlin group are not emotionless corporate entities, they are made up of human beings who care passionately about what they do”.
“In that respect the far bigger punishment for all of us is that on this occasion we let people down with such devastating consequences. It is something none of us will ever forget and it is something we are absolutely determined will never be repeated.”
Although the cost of the fine was significant, the moral cost was significantly more. Although large fines catch the headlines, the real costs, damage to people’s lives are often forgotten. The long term effects on the injured parties and the shame and guilt felt by those who caused the accident is the real story. Health and safety, if done right, helps companies grow and prosper.