A solicitor whose firm promoted its services to victims in the aftermath of the Alton Towers rollercoaster crash has extended her ‘sincere apologies’ for any offence caused.

Lois Bayliss, from Sheffield firm Broad Yorkshire Law said through a statement on Facebook that a junior member of staff had been responsible for a twitter message sent yesterday. The tweet said: ‘Been injured in a roller coaster crash?! We’re experts in Personal Injury!! #Smiler #AltonTowers.’

In total 16 people were injured during the crash on Tuesday afternoon, including four who suffered serious leg injuries.

Within an hour of the original tweet, which was removed, the firm had apologised and sent its best wishes to those that were stranded.

This morning the firm made a longer statement explaining the circumstances.

Bayliss said the tweet was not intended to tout for business and the member of staff had intended to be ‘humorous, but innocuous’.

‘In this case he has made a severe error of Judgement [sic],’ she said.

‘He tells me that he was making a joke about people being stranded on a rollercoaster and did not realise there had been a collision and that people were actually hurt at the time that he tweeted.

‘He is devastated that he has caused offence to the victims and families of the crash and the public as a whole. He is also devastated that people have actually been injured.’

The original tweet caused a number of people to criticise the firm in their replies.