Trains collide on Euro-Mir

Thursday, July 29, 2004 4:49 PM
This afternoon there was a power outage at Europa Park that caused the rides to e-stop.

When the operators tried to manually bring the Euro-Mir trains back to the station, they opened one block brake too early so that one train collided with a parked one.
Seventeen riders were "slightly" injured, one girl suffered a broken leg.
The other riders could leave the ride on their own, but were brought to a nearby hospital to check them.

The ride will alledgely be back in operation tomorrow since the accident was 100% caused by operator error.

I still can´t figure why or how the wrong blockbrake could be opened. Its even more questionable why the trains were not evacuated before they started to fumble on the brakes.

Another thing that begins to irk me is the way the local media is currently DOWNPLAYING this accident.
Broken limbs and twisted spines are hardly "slight injuries".
FYI Europa Park is a huge player in the media business. They produce numerous music and game shows for tv on their open air stages. Furthermore they are big time supporters of the conservative party, which is prevalent in this region.
It seems noone is too keen to piss off Europa Park, so they just ignore that their operations made a BIG mistake by letting this accident happen.
It will be interesting to see how the tabloids react to this. They nearly slaughtered Phantasialand after the fire.

Two pictures for the sensation vultures:
http://freizeitparkweb.de/cgi-bin/dcf/dcboard.cgi?az=read_count&om=1323&forum=DCForumID9#7
(scroll down)

Its so sad that the streak of accidents is happening all over the world this year.

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Thursday, July 29, 2004 5:12 PM
Sounds like you're the one making it sensational. Seeing as how the rest is in German and I don't think you have the whole story, I'm not willing to speculate on what happened.
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Thursday, July 29, 2004 6:52 PM
Jeff, I am in germany and I have seen it on tv, heard it on the radio and talked to people who have been eyewitnesses of the incident.

I am not trying to spruce the story up. I just gave you a rundown of what happened, including my interpretation of the questioanable media reports that are speaking of "slight injuries", when in fact there has been a fractured limb.

To give you info about the involvement of Europa park in the media business is no sensationalism. It might be of no interest to you, so I apologize for posting something that goes beyond inside jokes.

The fact is (if anyone is still interested) that every blockbrake with a stuck train was manned with a technician. The train in the last brake before the first drop was released while the next brake was still occupied by a train.
I am sorry, but this is a serious mistake. Everybody who knows this ride, knows that the trains are pretty fast when they go into the brakes.
Europa Park has close to four million visitors each year. A park of this size should not make mistakes like this.

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Thursday, July 29, 2004 8:28 PM
I thought it was the policy of most parks to evacuate trains when the ride is put into a manual mode? After all, had they not evacuated Big Thunder Mountain in its collision before last injuries may have resulted. I know at my home park they always evacuate the ride when manually clearing blocks and such. Not to exactly blame the park, although it is odd that this would happen at a park that is owned by a roller coaster company. Perhaps it was the fault of the staff.

*** Edited 7/30/2004 12:28:35 AM UTC by Cameraman***

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Thursday, July 29, 2004 9:50 PM
I find it interesting how such an apparently significant incident is downplayed over in Germany. But a coaster get stuck on a lift hill here in the States and we have national coverage and a media circus of helicopters circling the park reporting about trapped riders on the brink of catastrope.
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Thursday, July 29, 2004 11:02 PM
I know I have been on coasters when we e-stopped for some reason and we were 'manually' brought along to the station without being evacced. Sometimes the location of the evac would make it more dangerous than moving a train manually.

I do believe, however, that if a technician was located at each block, this never, ever should have happened. What was the mechanic doing? Eating pizza? Trimming his nails? Come on, if this is true that's plain old dumb.

Fever

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Thursday, July 29, 2004 11:39 PM

tricktrack said:
...It might be of no interest to you, so I apologize for posting something that goes beyond inside jokes.
Don't go the "Jeff's picking on me" route. That's lame, and I doubt you'll get any sympathy from anyone. You're the one who started talking about "twisted spines." Are you saying now that there were not actually any "twisted spines?"

Someone broke an arm or leg. That's a bummer. It could've been a lot worse. Hopefully whoever conducted the manual advance of the trains will get fired and the park will be reprimanded by whatever regulating authority there is for poor training.

It sucks, but humans make mistakes. I don't see any drama beyond that.

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Friday, July 30, 2004 5:25 AM
Substitute "twisted" with "sprained" or "bruised". I had to look it up in a dictionary, since I don´t know the correct term for this condition.
And yes, there were bruised spines.

I still don´t get the attitude towards my initial post. You say i am sensationalizing and dramatizing this accident. I am contributing to this site for four years and I never had any problems with anyone here.
I am far from being a troll who is making things up.

But your reaction indicates that you either don´t believe me, or that it just doesn´t interest you. Fair enough. But so is my reaction.

Of course it could have been worse, so could have been the recent BTMR incidents (which are strikingly similar).

Your last sentence just strikes me as cynical.

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Friday, July 30, 2004 9:22 AM
Maybe because the media in the US OVER-sensationalizes accidents like this. Yeah it sucks that someone broke their leg, but they didn't die. It was a human error. Had this happened at a US park, it would be hittting national news and totally blown out-of-portion.
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Friday, July 30, 2004 10:51 AM
What irritated me is the implication you made that there's some media conspiracy trying to hide it all. Maybe, and the American press could learn from this, it just isn't that newsworthy.
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Friday, July 30, 2004 5:16 PM
^It is absolutely amazing that the media is sitting this accident out over here.
When the wale in SeaWorld went amok a few days ago, it was in the news here in germany.
BTMR made the news here, and even the frayed cable at CP was in some tv-news.

But an accident in the countries biggest amusement park during the high season with 17 (seventeen) injuries doesnt make it past the local newspapers.

I am no Oliver Stone, but this is very unusual. The status of Europa Park as a producer of tv-shows makes you think why the blood thirsty media is ignoring this incident.

When the Schwarzkopf coasters burnt down at Phantasialand, Europapark made press-releases where they claimed that their safety procedures were impeccable. And they even used Euro Mir as an example of their safety standard.

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Friday, July 30, 2004 5:38 PM
I was there yesterday and today with the ECC. The park manager explained the situation with the ride, and the details are as has been reported here. It was up and running again by noon after the TUV had been to check it.
-R
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Friday, July 30, 2004 5:40 PM
Accidents happen, even in topparks like Europa-Park.
It's better not to worry about it.

It's more dangerous to go to a themepark than actually being there and ride the coasters.
Heck, you're more likely to get injured when going down stairs or crossing a street.

Luckily no major injuries in Europa-Park, we had a fairly quiet summer worldwide apart from an orca gone wild. Let's keep it that way.

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