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Two hurt in Alton Towers rollercoaster crash are named

By Alex Diaz

Published 04/06/2015

Four people were seriously injured after two carriages collided on Alton Towers rollercoaster The Smiler (@_ben_jamming/PA)
Four people were seriously injured after two carriages collided on Alton Towers rollercoaster The Smiler (@_ben_jamming/PA)

An 18-year-old textile design student and his girlfriend have been named as among those who were injured when a record-breaking rollercoaster crashed at Alton Towers.

Joe Pugh, a student at the University of Huddersfield, and his girlfriend Leah Washington were hurt on Tuesday after two carriages crashed on a section of its 50mph ride, The Smiler. The extent of their injuries is as yet unknown.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said yesterday that four people suffered serious leg injuries in the crash - two men aged 27 and 18, and two women aged 19 and 17.

A total of 16 people were hurt when the £18m rollercoaster, which boasts a world record of 14 loops, collided with a stationary cart on a low section of the track.

Meanwhile, Alton Towers said it would remain closed for a second day today as the investigation into the collision continues.

Merlin Entertainments, which runs the park, has admitted that the ride suffered "teething problems" after opening in May 2013.

An Alton Towers spokesman said the carriage holding the passengers was travelling at approximately 20mph when it hit the other carriage.

Passengers were left trapped for more than four hours as emergency services worked to free them from the cart.

Witnesses described scenes of horror after the collision, with one victim's face covered in blood and others screaming in terror.

Jack Carver (33) told reporters: "It was like a horror movie hearing those screams.

"There was pure terror in their voices.

"It reminded me of Final Destination where the rollercoaster comes off the tracks. It was really scary."

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