So started with a bug, and a cough, they were not related. The bug wasn’t very interesting, but led on to something more interesting. The good news is the weather has substantially improved, so Sasha got a nice log walk. Went to Pump, came back and did a couple more hours work. All bugs now shot.
So continuing on from yesterdays drivel. Apparently someone has lost a leg, although that’s not confirmed. The names of a couple of people have been released, they had fairly serious injuries. So some additional information, from what I can gather, although it’s still not exactly clear. The empty car was stalled at the bottom of a loop (although in some reports it was held at the top of one, although I really can’t see how), the other car was then released some minutes later and ploughed right into the back of it. The only way I can see that happen is if the system was reset after the empty car was already stuck. The system would then forget that there was any car con track. If the alternative had happened and the empty car was at a holding point then the full one would have ploughed into it full speed and the brake would have held making it a lot worse. I can’t see that happening though as there’s no way the sensors would allow a braked car and a full one on the same track section. I still think it’s a human override doing something they shouldn’t.
So where does it leave the park? Well depends who you ask. Most analysts are saying ‘Seven day wonder’. That no one will care a jot next week, ride will open and it will be forgotten. Park was closed today and is closed again tomorrow. Now here’s my take on it. I’m going to be a bit more pessimistic. I’m going to say it’s not going to open again until Monday, where there will be more of a ‘soft’ opening. By this time, ‘The Smiler’ will be covered in a shroud, the same sort of thing that was around it when it was built. Then it will be several months while Health & Safety Executive, the ride manufacturers and no doubt several private investigation companies paid for by very expensive lawyers carry out their various tests and examinations on the coaster. As well no doubt, countless interviews with operating staff, mechanics and witnesses. Then during the winter closure it will all be taken down and scrapped. Why? Well, the ride cost £18 million. 16 people were injured, in what will probably turn out to be some combination of operator error and bad design. So 12 will get a million each as they may get a bad back in years to come. The four at the front have to be on for several million each. Plus costs, there will be an awful lot of costs. All these will have to be paid out by some insurance company. Then you end up with a bit of a problem, it can’t operate without insurance. Would you then go on to reinsure the same ride that you’ve just had to pay out about £40 million on? I don’t think ‘The Smiler’, will ever sadly be smiling again. Hopefully I’m very wrong, everyone will settle for a season ticket and the lady will grow a new leg.