Stoke & Staffordshire

Alton Towers crash victim Chanda Chauhan issues Smiler plea

Chanda Chauhan
Image caption Chanda Chauhan spent nine days in hospital after the Alton Towers Smiler crash of June 2015

A victim of the Smiler rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers has called for the ride to be shut indefinitely after 30 people were trapped in a new incident.

Chanda Chauhan, from Wednesbury, said news of Thursday's evacuation took her "straight back" to last year's crash.

"It shouldn't put people's lives at risk. Until they sort it out it should be closed," Ms Chauhan said.

Alton Towers said "at no time were any guests at risk" this week.

More on calls for the Smiler to shut

"All of the rides undergo extensive testing before they open to the public each day, thorough monthly checks and are also subject to independent, third party accreditation to ensure the highest levels of safety," a spokeswoman for the Staffordshire theme park said.

Image caption Human error caused two carriages to collide in June 2015, leaving five people seriously injured

The Smiler reopened in March, nine months after a horror crash left five people seriously injured - including two women who required leg amputations.

Ms Chauhan, 51, had surgery to her stomach and further treatment for a damaged liver and blood clots.

The ride was evacuated and later reopened on Thursday after a piece of rubber "came away from one of the carriages," an Alton Towers spokeswoman said.


History of problems


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Image caption (l-r) Daniel Thorpe Vicky Balch, Joe Pugh and Leah Washington were among those seriously injured in the June 2015 incident

Ms Chauhan said: "I know it's a business and I do understand they need to make money, but if something is not working right it shouldn't put people's lives at risk.

"I think it should be closed completely. Until they sort it out it should be closed."

Ms Chauhan said she felt "winded" when she heard of the latest issue with the ride.

"It was like I'd had a blow in my stomach," she said.

"I thought to myself, 'oh no not again'. It took me straight back to the incident."

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