Wednesday, February 21

Fire breaks out at a water park under construction at a popular Swedish amusement park

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A fire broke out Monday at a waterpark under construction at one of the Nordic region’s biggest amusement parks, sending a huge plume of black smoke drifting over Goteberg, Sweden’s second-largest city.

The blaze spread across several yet-to-be-opened waterslides at Liseberg park, and police and fire officials could not immediately say whether there were any casualties.

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The fire department urged people in the area affected by the smoke to “go indoors and close doors, windows and ventilation” and listen to the local radio.

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A nearby hotel and office facilities were evacuated, the park and police said. An explosion sent debris from buildings scattered over the burning waterslides.

“We have no information that there should be any injuries. We are now in the process of ensuring that this is the case,” the head of communications at Liseberg, Mårten Westlund, told the daily Aftonbladet.

The fire broke out at the Oceana water park, which had been scheduled to open this summer. Swedish news agency TT said it cost 1.2 billion kronor ($10.6 million) to build.

Westlund said the fire started in the part of the complex with four large slides.

Liseberg, in downtown Goteborg, is a popular tourist destination in Sweden.

The idea behind Oceana was inspired by the history of Goteborg, founded in 1621 by King Gustav II Adolf. The city became an important trade place for Sweden.

Once completed, Oceana was to include an indoor swimming area of almost 6,000 square meters (7,176 square yards) and a 4,000-square-meter (4,780-square yards) outdoor swimming facility. Plans also call for a restaurant and a hotel. The park said up to 1,750 guests can visit the park at a time.

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