Last updated: 12:40 PM ET, Tue June 02 2015

Serious Injuries Reported After Roller Coaster Collision at England's Alton Towers

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | June 02, 2015

Serious Injuries Reported After Roller Coaster Collision at England's Alton Towers

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Four people have been seriously injured following a collision on the Smiler roller coaster at England's Alton Towers theme park on Tuesday.

According to the BBC, 16 people were on the ride when their carriage collided with another empty carriage that was stopped on the track. 

"When the second carriage crashed people were screaming and shouting - even after it stopped. Everyone around the park ran over," said park goer and witness Ben Richardson via BBC. 

"The people looked significantly distressed," he added. "It was almost like a car crash, very full on."

"The resort's fully qualified first responders were on the scene immediately to assist with the evacuation which is ongoing, and the area has been closed to allow for access to emergency services vehicles," said resort operator Merlin Entertainments in a statement via BBC.

The company added that "there will be a full investigation once we have recovered the guests who are our priority."

The Staffordshire Fire department announced on Twitter that crews were on the scene to assist victims of the crash:

Park guests on social media, including Lucy Farrugia, reported that the ride had broken down prior to Tuesday's incident, prompting ride operators to send an empty carriage around the track.

The world's first 14-loop roller coater, the Smiler opened in May 2013 and has already racked up a long list of troubling incidents over the past two years, including some that have left riders injured. 

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