One of the people seriously injured in last week’s Alton Towers rollercoaster crash has had her left leg amputated above the knee, doctors have confirmed.
Leah Washington, 17, from Barnsley in South Yorkshire, also suffered a fractured hand in the incident, which left four people with serious injuries and 12 others hurt.
Leah’s boyfriend, 18-year-old Joe Pugh, was treated for two broken knees and extensive hand injuries, the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust has confirmed.
The announcement came as the Staffordshire tourist attraction opened its gates to the public for the first time since Tuesday’s crash, when two carriages on the Smiler ride collided.
David Washington, Leah’s father, said medics “saved Leah’s life” followingthe crash, after which she was said to have been given a blood transfusion andmorphine before she passed out.
In a statement: “We would like to thank our family and friends and all the well-wishers for their support.
“Leah has suffered a life-changing injury and now has many months of rehabilitation ahead of her.
“We have done this to put people’s minds at rest and we would also ask everyone to respect Leah’s privacy as she undergoes this rehabilitation.
“We would like to thank all the emergency services at the scene and all the hospital staff who saved Leah’s life.”
Leah, her boyfriend Mr Pugh, 27-year-old old hotel assistant manager Daniel Thorpe from Buxton in Derbyshire, and 20-year-old Vicky Balch from Leyland in Lancashire, have been described as the most seriously injured.
Ms Balch suffered potentially life-changing injuries in the crash, and is expected to make a “substantial claim for damages” to support her recovery, her solicitor said last week.
The four are being treated at the Royal Stoke University Hospital and the University Hospital Coventry.
Simon Pugh, Mr Pugh’s father, said: “I would like to thank our friends and family for their support.
“We would also like to thank the staff at the hospital who have been very accommodating, have been lovely to us and have protected our privacy.
“We would ask people to respect Joe’s privacy now and over the weeks and months ahead.”