A five-year-old boy was in a Paris children’s hospital on Thursday after being “seriously injured” at the Disneyland amusement park near the French capital. Iban, who was with his father, fell out of a boat on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, according to RFI.
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, according to the Telegraph UK.
“He was stuck between the platform, with his chest compressed, and the boat,” said local emergency services commander Fabrice Delin. The distraught father eventually dragged his son onto the platform. Emergency workers rushed the boy to the hospital. He was initially reported to be in critical condition, but is now expected to survive, according to the New York Daily News.
Disneyland Paris posted this update on their Facebook page:
We have learned of improvements in the health of little Iban, a young boy involved in yesterday’s accident on Pirates of the Caribbean. This news is a relief, even if we must remain cautious. We are with the family and we are offering them all the support necessary at this difficult time.We are working closely and fully with the authorities to understand what happened. An expert appointed by …the authorities is at the attraction which has been closed until further notice for the investigation to be conducted correctly and carefully. As you know, safety is our utmost concern at Disneyland Paris. We are systematic about safety and our procedures are among the strictest in the industry.We would like to thank the teams and the authorities for the quality of their work and the speed with which they reacted. We would also like to thank our guests for assisting the emergency teams and sending encouragement.
There have been other accidents at Disneyland Paris, according to the Raw Story:
- In April 2011, five people were injured — and one seriously — in a wagon of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a rollercoaster.
- The same train derailed in October of the same year, forcing the evacuation of some 30 people.
- Three years earlier, overcome with panic, a man hurt his head after jumping off a ride when he was high above the ground.
An official at Disneyland Paris said the ride had undergone maintenance checks the day of the accident and that this is the first incident of its kind on the Pirates ride, according to ABC, which is part of the Disney Company.