One teenager has died, and two others have been injured, after a rollercoaster derailed earlier today at the Tivoli Friheden theme park in Aarhus, eastern Denmark,
Local police said they had received a call just before 1pm today (Thursday, July 14) to say that a car was stuck in the Cobra ride at the popular theme park in Denmark's second-largest city, and that several people were trapped.
Henrik Olsen, the park's manager, told local newspaper Aarhus Stiftstidende that the rear two seats of the ride had broken away from the rest and were hanging underneath the rails. He said some guests were stranded up to 10 feet off the ground.
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"There was a big bang and there were people crying," an eyewitness told the newspaper. "A mother stood by the Cobra and looked up while she exclaimed several times 'my children, my children.'"
It’s not currently clear if that woman’s children were in the part of the rollercoaster that broke away.
Three victims were immediately rushed to hospital, but a 14-year-old girl was confirmed dead around 90 minutes later, according to broadcaster TV2.
A 13-year-old boy sustained injuries to one hand, police said, and his parents have also been notified. The nature of the third victim’s injuries has not been disclosed.
Police inspector Brian Voss Olesen told a press conference this afternoon that the exact cause of the 'very very tragic accident' remains unclear
The accident took place on the 'Cobra' ride, a high-speed 4.5G rollercoaster comparable with Alton Towers’ 'Oblivion' coaster.
In 2008, four people were injured in an accident on Cobra when two rows of seats became disconnected from the rest of the ride.
The park is expected to remain closed for at least the next 24 hours while a thorough investigation into this latest incident takes place.
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On the park’s official Facebook page, a statement says: “We have gathered the guests who are related to the injured – and those who sat on the train – and are offering psychological help to those who need it.
“The cause of the accident has not yet been determined, but technical assistance from experts has been requested.
“Out of respect for the injured, we encourage our guests not to share any pictures that may have been taken in connection with the accident."
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