SMILER SHUT DOWN AFTER WHEELS HIT RIDERS

The record-breaking Gerstlauer coaster The Smiler, with a staggering 14 inversions, had to be shut down after yet another mishap.  A spokesperson for Alton Towers said that some “small guide wheels” used to keep the chain inside the chain guard came off as the train was being pulled up the incline, striking several riders in the front of the train.  The train completed its circuit and there were no serious injuries but one of the riders hit by a plastic wheel expressed consternation about continuing, saying that "You are at the highest point of the ride and you've got all these loops to do and you just think that the carriage is going to come off.”   The ride was subsequently closed pending investigation.  As Alton Towers closes for the season on November 10, 2013, The Smiler may not reopen until 2014.  Photo courtesy of The Daily Mail.

 

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