A huge fire hit Europa-Park on Saturday, causing extensive damage to the German theme park. Thankfully, visitors were safely evacuated and no one was seriously hurt.
The fire started early evening in a storage facility. It then spread to the Pirates of Batavia boat ride, completely destroying the 30 year old attraction.
250 firefighters battled the blaze through the night. Seven firefighters were later taken to hospital with minor injuries but all have since been released.
The theme park, in Rust, Germany is the country’s biggest and the evacuation of the park proceeded smoothly, with around 25,000 guests being safely escorted form the premises.
Europa-Park fire, two themed areas gone
Despite the damage caused by the devastating fire two things it highlighted have been the industry’s resilience and its sense of community. Remarkably, the day following the fire, the park opened as usual, albeit with large sections of the Dutch and Scandinavian-themed areas remaining closed.
Just last week, members of the Mack family were at Blackpool Pleasure Beach for the launch of ICON, a new rollercoaster from Mack Rides, the Mack family’s ride company. Following the fire – a day which was, as Michael Mack said with some understatement, “not the easiest in our long history” – Pleasure Beach MD Amanda Thompson (among many others) tweeted her own support for the park.
So, although a sad day for all involved, there was nonetheless much to be taken from the incident. The swift and brave work of the emergency services, the smooth operation of the park in safely evacuating its guests and the wave of support from the theme park community. There will be new themes created, new buildings and new rides. 2018 remains an exciting year for the park. However, Europa-Park is more than just a collection of rides and attractions and the weekend showed why.