Students who dressed as a rollercoaster for a charity pub crawl have apologised to victims of the Alton Towers Smiler ride crash.

The group, named 7 Legless, denied the costume for the night out in Nottingham was a reference to last year’s incident in which two teenagers each lost a leg.

One victim, Huddersfield University textile design student Joe Pugh, who had been in the front row of the rollercoaster with his girlfriend Leah Washington when it ploughed into an empty carriage, criticised the costume choice.

He tweeted: “How awful and disrespectful can people get? Disgusting.”

Video thumbnail, Alton Towers Smiler crash victim Joe Pugh shares his horrific experience
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Nottingham University Students’ Union released a statement refuting a link to the crash but apologising to anyone who was offended.

It said: “Its design was based on a traditional concept that has existed for several years and no reference was made to the Smiler by the students involved.”

Vicky Balch, then 19, and Ms Washington, then 17, both had to have leg amputations after the incident on June 2 2015, while Joe, Daniel Thorpe, and Chandaben Chauhan, who was sitting in the second row, were all seriously injured when their packed carriage was crushed against another car.

The theme park’s owner, Merlin Entertainments, was fined £5 million last month after admitting health and safety breaches.