FIREFIGHTERS who rescued a Barnsley couple trapped on The Smiler ride at Alton Towers have received a Chief Fire Officer's certificate of commendation.

Joe Pugh and Leah Washington were seriously injured at the front of the ride along with two others when two carriages collided.

To make matters worse, the carriages were suspended within a dip at a 45 degree angle, around eight metres from the ground.

Due to the nature of injuries and challenges caused by the ride’s position, fire crews worked tirelessly for around four and a half hours to complete the operation.

Leah, 18, said: "The crews have been amazing, they were really caring at the time and also visited me in hospital afterwards which was lovely of them.

"They have talked me through what happened and what they did which was really helpful."

Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford presented the accolade to the 25 firefighters on Wednesday, September 9 in Staffordshire.

Mr Dartford said: "As Chief Fire Officer I am extremely proud of the professionalism and sensitivity that our firefighters showed throughout the entire rescue operation and in the aftermath the incident.

"I can’t think of a more deserving team of people to be awarded a certificate of commendation."