An amusement park attraction collapses and kills 1 girl

Tragedy in Barcelona?s Tibidabo amusement park. The pendulum ride attraction falls, resulting in 1 girl dead and 3 other minors injured. An investigation will look into the exact causes of the tragedy.


July 19, 2010 06:53 PM

Barcelona (CNA).- On Saturday evening, on Barcelona’s Tibidado mountain, the pendulum’s ride anchorage failed and the entire attraction fell down, trapping 4 teenagers under it. 1 girl died and 3 other minors were injured, 2 of them severely. The amusement park’s attraction had been unveiled in 2006 and had been checked out just one month ago. The causes of the fatal accident are being investigated and are expected to be known within the next few days.
The accident happened on Saturday evening, when 4,000 people were inside the park. Tibidabo is an amusement park within the city of Barcelona, owned by the City Hall and some private companies. The historic park is more than 100 years old but its attractions are new and updated. This mortal accident is the first one the park has suffered. The tragedy has surprised everyone as the maintenance work had been performed. However, it is obvious that something went terribly wrong.

The attraction is anchored to a cement base through massive, deep screws. “It seems that some screws might have broken, provoking the collapse of the entire structure”, explained the park’s President and councilwoman Sara Jaurrieta. Immediately after the tragedy, Jaurrieta together with Barcelona Mayor Jordi Heureu and the Security Councilwoman Assumpta Escarp went to the park.

The pendulum ride consists of an articulated iron arm that has a platform with seats. The platform is design to be risen 38 meters above ground and then to be dropped abruptly, reaching a speed of 100km/h in only 3 seconds. In the middle of the ride, the centipede forces might have broken the screws at the base and provoked the collapse of the entire structure, which then fell onto another attraction. Luckily, the other attraction was empty. However, the pendulum ride had 4 passengers of 14 and 15 years old. They were trapped under the attraction and 1 of them has died.

The firemen have rescued the body of a 15 year-old girl, who died at the scene. 2 other girls of the same age were severely injured. 1 of them was in a critical state and was transported with a medical helicopter to Barcelona’s Vall d’Hebrón Hospital. Today, after going through the operation room due to several broken bones, traumatisms and blood circulation problems, she is still in a bad condition but is recovering positively and her life is not in danger. The other two wounded were a 15-year old girl who was diagnosed with minor head trauma and a 14-year old boy who was lightly injured. They were both driven to a hospital. The girl is still in Sant Joan de Déu Hospital and in good condition. The boy is already at home after spending Saturday night under observation.

Now the efforts are to clarify the exact causes of this terrible accident which caused the death of one teenage girl. The Engineering Professional School is working in the analysis of the causes. The School has announced they will have the results by the end of the week.

The President of the park has stressed that, in its long history, this is the first mortal accident. There were never any problems with this attraction, which was set up in 2006 and was lastly checked out last June. It was one of the most popular attractions of the park. Jaurrieta affirmed that they do not know why the anchorage of the attraction’s base failed, “We do not have any hypothesis of what has happened, we have a [revision] certificate issued one month and a half ago and this whole situation is very surprising”. She also added that the attractions pass several checks, daily and weekly, as part of the complete checks that are undergone each year by an external company. Apart from the judiciary investigation, the park will launch an internal investigation to clear out what happened.