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Gröna Lund: What we know about Sweden's fatal rollercoaster crash

TT/Becky Waterton
TT/Becky Waterton - [email protected]
Gröna Lund: What we know about Sweden's fatal rollercoaster crash
Emergency services outside Gröna Lund on Sunday. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Stockholm's iconic Gröna Lund amusement park is closed this week, after a rollercoaster derailed, killing a woman in her 30s and injuring nine others. How could this happen, and what happens next?


What happened?

Around 11.30am on Sunday, one of the cars on the Jetline attraction at Gröna Lund amusement park on Stockholm's Djurgården island partially derailed, in an accident which killed one person, a woman in her 30s, according to police.

In total, 14 people were on the affected train car. Nine were injured.

On Monday, four people remained in hospital, according to regional healthcare services. Two of them have serious, but not life-threatening, injuries, and the other two have less serious injuries.

Three children who were injured in the accident have all been able to leave hospital.

The front part of the carriage took some people with it as it fell, and it was left hanging at a height of around six to eight metres.

"What we know is that the front part of the car partially derailed," said Annika Troselius, information manager at amusement park owners Parks and Resorts, told a press conference.

"The car stopped in the middle of the tracks with one carriage leaning to one side."

How could this happen?

It's not yet clear what caused the accident, but the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority (Statens Haverikommission or SHK) was investigating the site on Monday.

The Jetline attraction was originally installed in 1988 and fully renovated in 2000. It, along with all other attractions at Swedish theme parks, must be inspected on a yearly basis.

In addition to this, Gröna Lund carries out further inspections "every six months, every month and every week", Troselius told the TT newswire, with technicians also inspecting the rides every day before the park opens.


When was it last inspected?

The most recent yearly inspection, carried out by independent accredited inspections company Dekra, was carried out at the beginning of June.

Jetline passed this inspection without any comments.

"Result: No flaws. Offers reassuring safety," the report, seen by TT newswire, states.

Inspection companies in Sweden must be accredited with Swedac, the Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment, before they can assess or certify attractions, with only three companies in Sweden currently accredited.

After certification, Swedan carries out regular controls on these companies at regular intervals of between 12 and 16 months.


"If we discover serious issues, if the company doesn't have the skills or is doing stupid things, we can recall an accreditation," Swedec head of communications Peter Kronvall told TT.

According to the Aftonbladet tabloid, a number of passengers raised safety concerns after travelling on the Jetline rollercoaster in recent weeks, with a father and son who rode on Jetline a few hours before the crash stating that technicians inspected the carriage they were sitting in after they got off the rollercoaster.

Another man said that his 11-year-old daughter had ridden Jetline a week ago, claiming that her safety harness was not properly closed before the ride started.

"They held on to the harness until their knuckles went white, but it kept going up and down. It's meant to click into place, but it wasn't locked and they were terrified," he told Aftonbladet.

"When the ride ended they told someone about it, but they guy they spoke to just sent them away. The first thing my daughter said this morning after the accident happened was that they weren't even strapped in when they rode on Jetline a week ago," he told the tabloid.


What happens now?

In the short term, Gröna Lund will remain closed for "at least a week, in order to be there for friends and family members of those affected and for our employees", according to a statement on its website.

All those who were at the park on Sunday, as well as those who had booked tickets for the coming week, will have their tickets automatically refunded.

The park has also set up a crisis helpline to support those affected by the accident or those with specific questions about what happened. The number is 010-708 9890, and the line will be open from 9.00am-16.00pm all this week.

Gröna Lund refers those with questions concerning refunds, tickets or similar to its customer service department: 010-708 7000, and adds that it will update social media and its homepage with more information.

The Swedish Accident Investigation Authority (SHK), which is scouring the site for clues, said it had discovered an "anomaly". Its director-general John Ahlberk told public broadcaster SVT late on Monday that two of the derailed train car's set of wheels had for yet unknown reasons come loose.

"We went on a platform to be able to see the railway from above. We could follow the train car's journey and believe to have found the first spot where we've been able to see an anomaly," he said.

"That will be interesting for us to investigate," he added.

SHK’s investigation could take up to a year.

There is also a separate probe being carried out by a prosecutor at Sweden's unit for work environment cases, who is investigating whether any criminal charges should be brought against the park.

The specific offences being investigated are labelled as causing the death of another person by negligence, causing bodily harm to another person, or causing danger to another person.

A number of rides at other parks in Sweden which are made by the same manufacturer as the Jetline ride were closed on Monday, such as the Godiståget at Kolmården Zoo near Norrköping and the Draken ride at Furuviksparken near Gävle.

The Lisebergbanan ride, also by the same manufacturer, would remain open, Liseberg amusement park in Gothenburg told SVT on Sunday.


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