Park owner Merlin Entertainments said in a statement quoted by the BBC: "There has been an incident on the Smiler this afternoon involving two carriages coming together on a low section of the track. One of the carriages was empty and the other had 16 guests in. 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."
The Smiler is a Gerstlauer Infinity Coaster with a record 14 inversions. It opened in May 2013.
Roller coaster physics 101 would suggest that "low sections" of a track are the ones where trains are running at their highest speed, thanks to the tradeoff of potential and kinetic energy. The reason why roller coaster trains sometime shut down during normal operation is due to the need to keep trains isolated in their own section of the track, to prevent these types of collisions. I'll defer to people with first-hand knowledge of The Smiler for further analysis.Tweet
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