Roller coaster partially derails at Swedish amusement park, killing one and injuring nine
One person fell to his death and several others fell from the top of a roller coaster when it partially went off the rails in a horrific accident at Sweden’s oldest amusement park on Sunday.
Thrill-seekers at Gröna Lund Park watched in horror as the front of the coaster train appeared to jump off the tracks, before coming to an abrupt halt as a carriage toppled to the ground, witnesses said.
Nine people, including three children, were hospitalized in addition to the person killed in the derailment, the regional government said.
“Then the car stops and people fly out – fall out of the car,” witness Ziba Assadi told Swedish broadcaster TV4.
An adult was in serious condition. The three children suffered only minor injuries.
“The front part of the train partially derailed and stopped on the track at a height of between 6 and 8 meters [between 20 and 25 feet]said Park boss Jan Eriksson. “A total of 14 people were on board, one of whom died and several were injured.”
Eriksson also called it a “day of mourning” at the park during a press conference.
Witnesses saw two or three passengers fall from the car, including one who was holding on to the track. Photos of the scene showed a man sitting on a roller coaster beam beneath the stopped train.
“So he’s sitting astride there [the beam] and waits,” Assadi said. “There was complete panic.”
She said she also saw the wheel assembly of one of the cars fall to the ground.
Jenny Lagerstedt, a journalist who was at the park with her family, told Swedish broadcaster SVT that she heard a metallic noise at the time of the accident and saw the track shaking.
“My husband saw a roller coaster car in which people fell to the ground,” said Lagerstedt.
“My kids were scared,” she added.
Authorities have opened a criminal investigation into the accident and are considering whether involuntary manslaughter or other charges are warranted.
The amusement park, which opened in 1883, was evacuated after the fatal accident and will remain closed for seven days to allow investigators to sort out what went wrong, park officials said.
“This must not happen,” said Annika Troselius, spokeswoman for Gröna Lund, in a statement. “Security is the most important thing for us. And we would never open an attraction if we weren’t confident it was safe. So we need to investigate this thoroughly.”
The 2,600-foot roller coaster opened in 1988 and was renovated in 2000, the amusement park said. The highest point is about 30 meters high and the roller coaster can go up to 90 km/h.
With post wires