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Smiler crash: Alton Towers to reopen rollercoaster ride on 19 March

The Smiler Image copyright PA
Image caption The crash on the Smiler, in June, left five people seriously injured

The Alton Towers rollercoaster ride on which five people were seriously injured is to reopen later this month.

Two women lost a leg and three other people were seriously hurt when their carriage hit a stationary carriage on the Smiler ride on 2 June.

The ride, which has been closed since the accident, is to reopen on 19 March when the Staffordshire theme park reopens for its new season.

The owner of the attraction is to be prosecuted over the crash.

Merlin Attractions Operation Ltd will appear at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on 22 April, the Health and Safety Executive announced last week.

Image copyright facebook
Image caption (l-r) Daniel Thorpe, Vicky Balch, Joe Pugh and Leah Washington were among those seriously injured

Four people sitting in the front row of the carriage were among those most seriously hurt in the crash.

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Vicky Balch, 20, from Lancashire, had six rounds of surgery in a bid to save her leg before needing an amputation.

Leah Washington, 17, from Barnsley, also had one of her legs amputated, while her 18-year-old boyfriend, Joe Pugh, shattered his knees.

Daniel Thorpe, 27, from Buxton, Derbyshire, was treated for a collapsed lung and leg injuries.

The fifth person, Chanda Chauhan, 49, from Wednesbury, underwent surgery after suffering internal injuries.

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