Blaze at Europa Park destroys historic ride
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Blaze at Europa Park destroys historic ride

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A major fire broke out at Germany's Europa Park over the weekend, destroying a historic ride and consuming a large chunk of the park's Scandinavia and Norway-themed areas.

Starting on the Pirates of Batavia water dark ride, a fireball reportedly erupted in a backstage storage area, creating a huge plume of smoke that could be seen for miles. Firefighters tackling the blaze used water from the Fjord-Rafting and the Dschungel-Floßfahrt rides to combat the fire.

According to local police, seven firefighters were slightly injured during the operation, and were treated for smoke inhalation. No park visitors or employees were injured during the event, with more than 25,000 people safely evacuated during the fire.

Created by Mack Rides, Pirates in Batavia opened in 1987 and was situated in a large hall in the park's Dutch themed area. The seven-minute boat ride took visitors through the "exotic East Indian seaport of Batavia."

Tweeting about the incident, park CEO Michael Mack thanked emergency services for saving the family's "life's work", also confirming the loss of Batavia and the Norway area.

According to the recent TEA/AECOM Theme Index report, Europa Park is Europe's second most-visited theme park after Disneyland Paris, with the attraction in Rust drawing 5.7 million visitors in 2017.

Police are investigating the cause of the fire in a 'criminal investigation'. It was brought under control at about 9pm on Saturday night (26 May). The cause of the fire has still not been determined. More than 250 firefighters tackled the blaze, with the park reopening on Sunday.

UPDATE: Europa Park has provided an official statement to Attractions Management See below.

Early Saturday evening at around 6.20pm, a fire broke out in Europa Park, which affected both the Dutch themed area and its backstage area as well as parts of the Scandinavian themed area. The smooth cooperation of the various emergency services and park staff, as well as the impeccable behaviour of the visitors, resulted in a quick and orderly evacuation. No visitors or employees were hurt or injured in the incident.

Particular thanks go to the courageous intervention of about 500 emergency service workers - including 250 fire brigade staff, 150 ambulances, 50 THW and 50 police officers. The fire was brought under control at midnight, preventing even further damage. The extinguishing work lasted until the morning hours. According to the current state of affairs, a total of seven firefighters were slightly injured during the operation. They suffered, among other things, smoke poisoning, but were very soon able to leave the hospital.

As of 9am Sunday, Europa Park had already once again opened its gates for visitors. The popular TV show ‘Immer wieder sonntags’ also took place as usual. Of the more than 100 attractions and 15 European themed areas spread across 95 hectares, the rides ‘Pirates in Batavia’ and ‘Koffiekopjes’ in the Dutch themed area as well as part of the Scandinavian themed area and the ‘Fjord-Rafting’ are currently not available. Similar to maintenance-related restrictions, visitors can enjoy the offer at Europa-Park to almost its full extent. There is therefore no price reduction to the entrance fee. The Europa Park hotels, hotel operations and planned events are not affected in any way.

The cause of the fire is still unclear, however the police have started the investigation. Europa-Park cannot give any information yet regarding the exact amount of damage. It is in the millions. 200 employees are employed in the damaged Dutch and Scandinavian theme areas. They all will keep their jobs.

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A major fire broke out at Germany's Europa Park over the weekend, destroying a historic ride and consuming a large chunk of the park's Scandinavia and Norway-themed areas.
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