Youngster from Iceland killed after falling from ride at Benidorm amusement park

Causes of accident that resulted in death of 18-year-old on Inferno attraction are unclear

A file photo of the Inferno ride, on which an 18-year-old tourist was killed on Monday.
A file photo of the Inferno ride, on which an 18-year-old tourist was killed on Monday.Morell (EFE)

He was enjoying a vacation in the Mediterranean resort of Torrevieja with his father and a friend. The three decided to spend the day at Terra Mítica, an amusement park in Benidorm. But the ride they chose, Inferno, proved to be much worse than its name would suggest.

The 18-year-old from Iceland died on Monday afternoon after falling from the attraction. According to local emergency services, the incident took place at 5.30pm, when the youngster fell from the massive rollercoaster, in which passengers spin 360º in the air and reach speeds of up to 60km/h.

The hypothesis so far of the police is that the young man flew out from his seat because of a “possible fault in the harness safety system,” which was supposed to hold him in place. Police investigators will now try to determine whether the harness “broke or came loose.”

The emergency services were called to the park, but could do nothing to save the man, who had suffered a number of injuries in the fall. The National Police then sealed off the ride and opened an investigation into the events.

The Inferno ride was opened in 2007, and is located in the Roma area of the park, where it occupies 400 square meters. Terra Mítica passed into private hands in 2010 after the disastrous management of the Valencia regional government resulted in the amusement park declaring bankruptcy.

The park released a statement on Monday night saying that the ride “had all its official certification in order, which is looked after by an external company that carries out periodical checks.” What’s more, it said, maintenance personnel carry out daily revisions to ensure “that the attraction works correctly.” Safety reports and other appropriate documentation have been handed over to the police.

Terra Mítica added that it was “unaware” of the causes of the accident, and would continue to investigate what happened, given that in 14 years of operation the park had never suffered such an incident.

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