Two roller coaster trains crash in Legoland in Günzburg, Bavaria, leaving many injured. This brings back memories of another incident.
Günzburg – It’s the holiday season and the weather is beautiful. In Legoland in Günzburg, Swabia, numerous families are cavorting between miniature worlds made of the well-known plastic building blocks and other attractions.
But when a train on the “Feuerdrache” roller coaster crashes into a train in front, the light-heartedness is suddenly over: 31 people are injured, one of them seriously. The injured are ten children, one teenager and 20 adults, as the police headquarters in Swabia South / West announced after the accident on Thursday.
A large-scale operation by rescue services and the fire brigade begins, and three helicopters are requested. Even the high-altitude rescue service is on site, as passengers have to be brought down from a greater height. “The one train that stopped properly did not stop in the area of the station where people normally get on or off, but more or less on the first floor, so to speak, and as a result the second train then drove up,” he said Police spokesman Dominic Geissler.
Neither a wagon derailed nor did people fall out. But the people on the second train could only get off after the passengers from the first train were on the ground. The cause of the collision is still unclear, the police now want to view video recordings, among other things.
Many visitors did not notice anything
While emergency doctors and paramedics are treating the numerous injured, the park is not cleared. Visitors tell in the evening that they initially didn’t notice anything about the accident. There was no announcement or anything similar from the park operator, in other areas of the site there was the usual hustle and bustle. “The rest of the operations in the park continued as normal,” confirmed police spokesman Geißler.
Even though the 16 seriously injured were discreetly taken to the hospital via the staff car park, the incident did not go entirely unnoticed. “We didn’t notice anything ourselves, but we got an email asking if we were affected,” said a father from Gießen in Hesse. A family from Bamberg in Upper Franconia was also informed by concerned friends who had heard about the accident from the media. “We only found out when we were called to see if we were okay. We didn’t see anything, we were at the other end.”
No access for journalists
While the happy everyday life can continue beyond the “fire dragon”, the park operator does not grant journalists access to the site. Instead of being able to get an idea for themselves, all they can do is talk to visitors who take souvenir photos with the Legoland lettering at the exit and stroll to their cars licking ice cream.
According to Legoland, the “Feuerdrache” roller coaster first leads through a covered, darkened area of the park. Then it’s out into the open via a downhill stretch with a few curves. According to park information, the roller coaster travels at speeds of up to eight meters per second, which corresponds to around 29 kilometers per hour.
Legoland, which belongs to the operator Merlin Entertainments based in England, is conveniently located on the Autobahn 8 Stuttgart-Munich. It was opened in 2002 after Günzburg had prevailed against around 300 other possible locations around the world. There are now ten themed areas with more than 60 attractions and rides in the park.
Fatal accident in Klotten
The accident is reminiscent of another fatal incident at an amusement park in Klotten on the Moselle in Rhineland-Palatinate last Saturday, when a 57-year-old woman fell off a moving roller coaster. There, too, the cause is still unclear. The park initially closed its gates for a few days, but meanwhile everything is back to normal with the exception of the closed roller coaster.
According to a message, Legoland in Günzburg wants to open its doors again on Friday. The “fire dragon” will remain closed until further notice, it said on Thursday evening. dpa