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Guest Killed, Nine Injured After Being Thrown From Coaster at Swedish Theme Park, Criminal Investigation Launched

grona lund accident jetline coaster
Credit: Flickr/Canva

One guest was killed and several more injured when a roller coaster train derailed at a Swedish theme park, hurling riders to the ground.

grona lund stockholm sweden

Credit: Flickr/Arild Vagen

On Sunday, a train at the Jetline roller coaster attraction at Grona Lund Park in Stockholm, Sweden, derailed, sending passengers on board plunging to the ground below. One guest was killed, and nine more sustained injuries necessitating transport to a local hospital.

Grona Lund Park

Grona Lund Park, located in DjurgĂĄrden in Stockholm, Sweden, is part of the Parks & Resorts Scandinavia theme park group and the oldest theme park in the country. It features 30 attractions, six restaurants, a wide variety of entertainment, such as concerts, and more. It’s touted as “a magical world where the impossible becomes possible–old gets young, little gets big, up gets down, and down gets up.”

More about Grona Lund:

The amusement park employs approximately 1,400 employees during the course of a season, receives around 1.7 million guests per year, and generates a turnover of approximately SEK 500 million [or more than $46.6 million USD], making Gröna Lund one of Sweden’s leading tourist attractions.

The Accident

According to The Associated Press, the scene was described by witnesses at the park as chaotic as the front of the train vehicle at the roller coaster attraction looked as though it jumped off the tracks before coming to an abrupt halt. One train car was left tilting toward the ground below.

“The front of the train partly derailed and stopped on the track at a height of between 6 and 8 meters (between 20 and 25 feet),” said Grona Lund Park chief executive Jan Eriksson. “A total of 14 people were on board, of which one person has died, and several are injured.”

The Tragedy

The regional government said the nine injured individuals were transported to a hospital, one of them listed in serious condition. Three of the individuals were children, each of them with minor injuries.

“The car just stops, and people fly out, fall out of the car,” said witness Ziba Assadi, who witnessed the accident as it happened. Assadi was reportedly standing under the coaster tracks, and she saw the wheel assembly of one of the train cars crash to the ground. Other witnesses say that two to three people fell from the ride vehicle, one of whom was able to cling to the track. Photos from the chaotic scene reportedly depict a man sitting below the stopped train atop a beam.

“So he sits there straddling [the beam] and waits,” Assadi said. “There was complete panic.”

The Jetline Roller Coaster

The Jetline Coaster opened at Grona Lund in 1988 and can accommodate 1,300 riders per hour. The steel coaster ride features seven cars per train, and riders are arranged two across a row for a total number of 14 passengers per train. In 1997, the Jetline was modified as a longer, steeper drop was added to increase the thrills of the attraction. While onboard, riders reach speeds of up to 56 miles per hour and experience a G-force of 4.5G. The coaster’s vertical angle measures 80 degrees, and the experience lasts approximately one minute and 30 seconds.

jetline roller coaster grona lund park

Credit: Flickr/Johan Wistbacka, Jan Headstrom

Grona Lund Park Closure and Investigation

“This should not be allowed to happen,” said Gröna Lund Park spokeswoman Annika Troselius. “Safety is the most important thing for us, and we would never open an attraction if we were not confident that it was safe, so this is something we need to investigate thoroughly.”

Immediately following the coaster accident, the entire theme park was evacuated. Grona Lund will reportedly remain closed for seven days as a full investigation into the accident is conducted to determine what caused the train car to derail. Police have also launched a criminal investigation on possible charges of involuntary manslaughter, causing danger to others, and causing bodily harm.

A Similar Accident at Disneyland Resort, California

The horrific tragedy at Grona Lund Park on Sunday is reminiscent of a similar accident that happened at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, in 2003.

sleeping beauty castle at disneyland with clouds and rainbow

Credit: Becky Burkett/Canva

That year, 22-year-old Marcelo Torres, a graphic designer and aspiring animator, was seated in the lead passenger car of the ride vehicle at Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction when the unthinkable happened. Two bolts from the locomotive’s left wheel assembly fell off the ride vehicle, setting into motion a terrifying chain reaction of events.

According to the Los Angeles Times, when the bolts fell from the wheel assembly, they caused “an axle to jam into the railroad’s ties. The locomotive nose-dived, and its rear hit the top of a tunnel. The force snapped a tow bar connecting the locomotive to the lead passenger car, which slammed into the locomotive’s undercarriage.”

Marcelo Torres lost his life in the accident, and ten other Guests were injured as a result of the accident. The Disney Company accepted responsibility for the accident, saying in a statement from then-Disneyland Resort spokesman Rob Doughty that Disney “deeply regrets that the tragic accident occurred and [is] terribly saddened by the grievous pain this caused the Torres family.”

big thunder mountain disneyland

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad/Credit: Disneyland Resort

The accident at Big Thunder Mountain prompted the State of California to hold Disney to higher safety standards. Per the Los Angeles Times:

After the crash, the state ordered Disneyland to retrain ride maintenance workers, managers, and ride operators; to require a test run of all cars on Big Thunder Mountain before passengers are loaded, and to require that those who perform maintenance on rides be the ones who sign that the work was completed.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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