Attractions industry news

14 Feb 2024

Heartbreak for Swedish theme park, Liseberg, as fire breaks out

A fire has destroyed part of the new water world, Oceana, at Liseberg in Sweden, and a construction worker has been reported missing.

According to Per Nyqvist, the rescue chief at the Gothenburg Fire Department, the fire was reported on Monday 12 February at 10.06am: there was an early occurrence of a fire gas explosion, followed by extensive smoke.

A major rescue operation was initiated, involving many units, which continued throughout last night and has managed to save large parts of the buildings. The fire has now significantly diminished and the site is relatively calm.

Although the blaze is now under control the missing construction worker is causing major concerns. In a press conference held this morning, it was confirmed that one person who was working on the project for Liseberg is still missing and that the police have filed a report for a missing person.

CEO of Liseberg, Andreas Andersen, said the company has had two main focuses in the past 24 hours. Firstly, to take care of the employees and guests affected by the incident, with thoughts primarily with the colleague who is still missing. Secondly to assist the fire department and the police in their efforts to limit the damages.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened, affected, and shaken by what has happened,” he said. “Many are now wondering, what happens now? The simple answer is that we do not know. Right now, our focus is not on finances or material damages but on the people affected by the fire. Currently, we do not have an overview of the project-related consequences. At the same time, I can promise that we will look forward with determination and hope. We will get through this.”

Liseberg is one of the leading amusement parks in Europe and Sweden’s most visited destination with three million visitors each year. Last year it celebrated its centenary and still retains a number of its historical features, including the 1923 carousel.

In issue 3 2023, Andersen spoke to Attractions Management about the plans for Oceana, which was slated to open this spring after almost four years of construction.

Representing an investment of more than €110m, it includes many world-class rides, including the first six-person raft ride in Europe and the highest mega-drop Master Blaster in the world.

Located next door to the Grand Curiosa Hotel, it can be accessed directly from the hotel, or via its own separate entrance, and features waterslides by Whitewater, sandy beaches, a family water play area, a wave pool and F&B.

“It will be like a themed waterpark meets a lush greenhouse meets a boutique spa,” said Anderson. “We tried to work with natural materials and lots of daylight, and we have a very extensive greenery programme. That was very important to us – Liseberg is in a green park in the middle of the city. Our waterpark has to be green too; it’s in line with our DNA.”

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