17-year-old Jochem Verzel from Wijk en Aalburg in Brabant got stuck on a roller coaster train in Plopsaland, Belgium for hours yesterday. Firefighters had to release him and take him to hospital due to hypothermia. The boy said in a conversation with him: “It was very cold.” Brabant broadcast†
Jochem was at The Ride to Happiness, an attraction where people toss and roll five times, when the wagons were 32 meters high. to stop† “At first everyone was so excited,” says de Brabander. “It was still light and the view over Plopsaland was so beautiful. Everyone cheered.” But the laughter soon faded as the wind and rain made them cold. “I was wearing thick clothes but because of the rain I was completely soaked.”
According to him, Yukim also felt “extremely lonely” upstairs. In total, there were nine people in the crowded attraction, but no one was sitting next to him. Behind him was a German boy, but communication was difficult. “The wind was blowing so hard that I could hardly hear it.” Finally, a few hours later, he heard the German say that the first person was rescued by firefighters. “That was a relief.”
Because of the strong winds, it required the firefighters to make a lot of effort to free the victims from gravity. The carriages were stationary at a great height over a stretch of water. And the pneumatic platform hoist spinning in the wind, causing the container to keep hitting the roller coaster. In the end, the fire brigade was able to contain the container with ropes. For example, rescue workers managed to get to Yuchem after 5.5 hours.
“I put on some sort of climbing harness and was chained to the winch while I was still in the wagon,” he told Omrup Brabant. “Then they helped me with that lever. That was a good thing, because I can’t feel my leg anymore.” Once he went downstairs, Yoshim was wrapped in blankets: his body temperature was only 33 degrees and he was experiencing symptoms of hypothermia. He was put in an IV and an ambulance took him to the hospital.
A day later, young Prabandar reported to the regional broadcaster that he was doing well. “My fingers are still a little stiff from the cold, but that’s it. It was a very special experience.” He is now back home.
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