25/02/2016 05:59 GMT | Updated 25/02/2016 06:59 GMT

Alton Towers Owner, Merlin, To Be Prosecuted Over 'Smiler' Accident

Fabio De Paola/PA Wire
EDITORIAL USE ONLY File photo dated 09/05/13 of The Smiler ride at Alton Towers Resort in Staffordshire, as the crash on the rollercoaster which seriously injured five people was caused by "human error" and the ride will re-open next year, the theme park's owner Merlin Entertainments has said.

The owner of Alton Towers is to be prosecuted over the rollercoaster accident in which five people were injured, the Health and Safety Executive has announced.

Daniel Thorpe, 28, Leah Washington, 18, Joe Pugh, 18, and Victoria Balch, 20, were all seriously injured when one coaster car slammed into another at the park on June 2, forcing the theme park to close for four days.

Both Washington and Balch lost legs in the accident, while Thorpe suffered a punctured lung and a broken leg. Both of Pugh’s knees were shattered in the crash.

Late last year, Merlin announced 190 jobs would be cut at Alton Towers at the end of a "very difficult year".

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