Crash theme park: Parents offered refund

The aftermath of the Smiler accident at Alton Towers
The aftermath of the Smiler accident at Alton Towers

WIGAN schools are facing a dilemma over whether to send pupils to their end-of-term trip to Alton Towers following the horror crash last week.

The Staffordshire theme park was closed for six days after 16 people were hurt when two carriages on the Smiler rollercoaster collided on June 2. It reopened yesterday at the conclusion of a major investigation.

It is not clear how many schools in Wigan had arranged a day out as an end-of-term treat, but teachers are now considering their options, seeking guidance from Wigan Council’s educational and health and safety teams.

St Edmund Arrowsmith RC High at Ashton, however, is one of those which will be allowing students to go on the trip on Saturday June 20 as planned.

A spokesman said: “We are not cancelling our Alton Towers trip after seeking guidance and advice from Wigan Council. Parents who no longer wish their child to attend may have a refund if requested.”

St John Fisher High School, in Beech Hill, has reportedly organised a trip this week but the school has not issued any guidance to media.

The Deanery High School, in Wigan, had already cancelled its annual trip but that was due to the fact it was ending term three days early to make way for major building works on its site.

A prohibition notice has been served on the Smiler ride by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors, stopping its use “until action is taken to deal with the cause of the failure”.

Alton Towers is one of the most popular destinations in the country for end-of-schoo-year outings.