Young boy injured on Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Paris
Published: October 30, 2013 at 1:49 PM
According to the U.K.'s Daily Mail, "Emergency services were called when the boy, who has not yet been named, became 'trapped between a platform and a boat.' A Disney spokesman has confirmed the accident happened."
Here's photo of the load/unload platform at Disneyland Paris' Pirates ride:
As you can see, safety gates hold back visitors who have yet to board, and there's almost no space between the boat and a dock for even a small child to slip through. If someone were to fall into the water, it would seem to have to be in between boats. The article also quotes the boy as "falling under a machine," which suggests the load belts that boats ride upon as they move through the load/unload area.
Boats on Pirates of the Caribbean move through the rest of the attraction on a current of water propelled by pumps located throughout the ride. No reports yet detail exactly where in the ride this incident happened.
Two years ago at Disneyland Paris, falling rockwork from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad injured five riders, one seriously.
Update: I just posted this to our Facebook page, in response to predictable "let's blame the parents" posts.
Thought for the day: I find it revealing when people rush to put 100 percent of the blame on parents they've never met when something horrible happens to a child, in theme parks or elsewhere. Perhaps it says something about our nature when we so quickly reject compassion and humility when given an opportunity to bully and blame.
Update 2: Statement from Disneyland Paris:
We are deeply saddened by the accident that took place this afternoon in Pirates of the Caribbean.
Our emergency teams were immediately on the scene to provide first aid to the 5-yaear old child. Throughout this difficult situation, our teams are accompanying the child and his family in order to offer any assistance necessary.
Safety is our utmost concern and we are working in close partnership with the authorities to understand what happened. The attraction remains closed until further notice.
Update 3: More detail, from The Telegraph (via comments)
During the ride, the boy leaned back and somehow fell out of his boat and was hit by another just behind. The child’s father immediately jumped out to recover him, but not quick enough to prevent the accident.
“He was stuck between the platform, with his chest compressed, and the boat,” said commander Fabrice Delin of the Codis emergency services for the Seine-et-Marne department, where the park is situated.
This happened at the unload platform.
Update 4: From the comments:
I was there with my son in the boat at the front of the docking area when the boy fell in. We had already moved off past the gates and into the ride and had to tight rope walk back up the wood fencing to get back onto the platform. It took six people to lift the boat off the boy. It is unclear whether he fell off at the front of the boat that was lifted (this boat was still on the tunnel before the exit platform or whether he fell off the back of the one just coming into the exit platform. In either case it appeared that the child should not have been standing to get off the ride yet in either case and I can not see how the ride or the staff were at fault. They acted extremely quickly and calmly, they got him out as fast as they could and administered first aid with medics arriving asap. I really hope the little boy pulls through but it really is a lesson to us all to be vigilant to our children's actions even second guessing what they are going to do next. The tragic events of yesterday are a lesson to us all, my thought and prayers go out to the little boys family and the staff of the ride.