FOURTEEN people are injured and two are in a critical condition after a tree fell on the “Tomahawk” rollercoaster at a theme park in Spain.
A strong windstorm with gusts of up to 40 miles per hour is said to have blown over the tree and caused branches to fall on passengers.
Branches of a tree fell directly on passengers[/caption]
The tragic accident took place about 11am at PortAventura, a theme park located between Vila Seca and Salou on the Costa Daurada.
Some of the branches of the tree landed directly on passengers in the rollercoaster carts, according to a company statement.
Eight ambulances and a medical helicopter were sent to the park and treated 14 people.
One person in a critical condition was taken to Bellvitge Hospital in Barcelona, while the other was taken to the Joan XXIII University Hospital in Tarragona – both by helicopter.
Three other injured passengers were taken to different nearby hospitals.
Park management said the event was “completely unrelated to the operation and maintenance” of the park’s attractions which “meet the highest safety standards”.
They said strong winds, which have today been blowing across Tarragona, were to blame for the incident.
The park added that it had closed other attractions and rollercoasters in the park to protect its patrons from the effects of the wild winds.
But access to the Tomahawk remained open because the children’s ride was in the park’s “soft” category, a spokesperson said.
An investigation was launched as police moved in with five crews.
In 2009, a worker was hit by a cart while performing maintenance on the same rollercoaster and tragically died.
The wooden Tomahawk is located in the far west area of the theme park inside PortAventura World Resort, which is some 50 miles southwest of Barcelona.
Built in 1997, the rollercoaster was intended for children and stipulates that its passengers must be between 1.05m and 1.85m tall.
PortAventura closed the Tomahawk today after the tragedy.
Last year in Stockholm, a woman was killed and multiple children were injured in arollercoaster crash.
The 35-year-old died as nine people were rushed hospital.
Tragedy struck at the Grona Lund amusement park when the Jetline rollercoaster partly derailed during a ride.
Fourteen people were on the rollercoaster carriage.
The ‘Tomahawk’ rollercoaster at PortAventura Park[/caption]
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