Updated: Danish rollercoaster shut down after teenage girl killed

The theme park Tivoli Friheden in Aarhus said it had permanently closed a rollercoaster ride after an accident in which a teenage girl was killed and 14 years after four other people were injured in a separate incident.

The Cobra rollercoaster ride in Tivoli Friheden in Aarhus on Friday 15th July 2022.
The Cobra rollercoaster ride in Tivoli Friheden, Aarhus on Friday 15th July 2022. The amusement park said the ride will permanently close after a 14-year-old girl lost her life and a 13-year-old boy was injured on the ride. Photo: Mikkel Berg Pedersen / Ritzau Scanpix

“A 14-year-old girl from Copenhagen died on Thursday afternoon after a tragic accident at the Tivoli Friheden in Aarhus,” Danish police said in a statement, adding that a 13-year-old boy had also been injured.

The accident occurred shortly before 1pm local time when a car broke loose from the Cobra ride, said Henrik Ragborg Olesen, director of the Tivoli Friheden theme park.

“It was the back part that broke off and was hanging under the rest of the  train,” he told Danish broadcaster TV2.

The roller coaster on a 400-metre long, 25-metre high track that can reach speeds of up to 70 km/h, was the scene of an accident in 2008, shortly after it opened.

At that time, it was the front part that broke away, leaving four people seriously injured. An investigation revealed a construction error in the Italian-designed ride.

The ride will now close permanently.

“After the 2008 accident and now this one in 2022, we no longer have confidence in the attraction being safe enough for it to continue,” said theme park director Henrik Ragborg Olesen.

Olesen told the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) that the park is offering psychological help to employees and visitors who were near the ride, or on it, at the time of the accident.

East Jutland Police urged the public to not share videos and pictures of the accident on social media, or elsewhere. Those who do have material of the accident have been told to contact the police via 114.

Tivoli Friheden park is to remain closed until at least Tuesday.

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Denmark wants to increase teachers’ suspected domestic violence obligations

Proposed new rules in Denmark will make it mandatory for schoolteachers to report to authorities if they see signs a student is experiencing or witnessing domestic violence in the home. 

Denmark wants to increase teachers’ suspected domestic violence obligations

A teacher will be required to report to the relevant municipality if they suspect a child is experiencing violence at home under a new political proposal, newspaper Politiken reports.

Making schoolteachers mandatory reporters is part of a 22-point government plan designed to reduce intimate partner violence and partner killings.

The proposal also includes additional training for midwives and other care providers who treat pregnant patients. 

Other initiatives in the proposal relate to reducing the right to parole for people convicted of domestic violence if they refuse treatment for their behaviour.

“We need to get involved,” minister for gender equality Trine Bramsen said.

“That’s the problem in Denmark. That we consider what goes on at home as something that is private and that we shouldn’t interfere in,” Bramsen said.

“Violence is not private, and we will never get rid of it if we continue to be afraid to get involved,” she said.

The proposal has received a lukewarm reception amongst the minority government’s parliamentary allies.

The Socialist People’s Party (SF) said it believes the plan has some good elements, while Pernille Skipper of the left-wing Red Green Alliance said it was not as grundbreaking as Bramsen has claimed.

There is also some dispute related to funding of the initiatives, Politiken writes.

Karina Lorentzen, justice spokesperson with SF, has expressed concern any political deal would have to be renegotiated within the next few years due to the short-term nature of the proposed funding. A permanent arrangement is preferred.

Bramsen meanwhile said that initial talks over the proposal were more concerned with putting ideas on paper than finalising funding.