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.Tweet
As for the rest of the web, there are many malcontents on every comment board. We luckily seem to not have much on this site. However, you know best on this ride as a former Cast Member. Its pretty much the same as the American Version. I really do not see how this was an issue that Disney could have prevented. There is nothing that can really go wrong mechanically on this attraction. It would appear that the kid did not follow safety procedures.
with a little more info
btw...not too worried about any lawsuits..this happened in paris not the US....not nearly as litigious as we tend to be here.
It is very sad and I hope he recovers...Disney and theme parks ARE safe and fun, but this family has a lot to get over now.
Now that we have affordable health care, we can be sure that many will get care. (not really).
I think it is human nature not necessarily to bully, but rather to insulate and protect oneself from the bad in the world. Many that read this blog are huge Disney fans. Such fans (me?) do not want to believe that our hero in the form of a mouse can do wrong. Moreover, as frequent visitors to mouseland, said guests do not want to admit that bad things happen to good people at the happiest place on earth in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, both things are false - The mouse can, has, and will again do "wrong" and accidents happen.
Again, I don't excuse trolls. I am just trying to ponder why people act like idiots sometimes.
My husband then jumped forward and up onto the platform along with the man from the row behind us and then into the water. One other man joined them (not six men as previously mentioned) and once the other passengers had quickly climbed off the boat the three of them lifted the heavy boat for the father to sweep his young son out of the water and into a side room. He was limp over his fathers arms, it was dreadful to see.
Our boat was then quickly unloaded but we all had to climb over the seats as our boat was not quite close enough to the full unload area. This is when we saw a First Aider come running through the unload area and thankfully revived the young boy. We were then quickly ushered outside to clear the area.
We went back to the ride (which was closed) the next day to try and find out how the boy was and were thrilled when told he is alive. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and for a full recovery for the young boy.
For those of you making comments on this website and many other websites, please do not judge. This will be a very traumatising time for the family and they will need a lot of support.
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** Amend to add that upon first reading I thought the kid was 15 but now I see he was 5. Still a possibility but maybe he turned around after unloading and tried to get back on and then stepped between the boats when they were moving into the station?