Carousel accident in Montpellier: “We saw people falling one after the other” says a witness

After the merry-go-round accident on Saturday December 17 on the Charles-de-Gaulle esplanade, families, still traumatized, tell the facts and file a complaint against the owner.

“We saw people falling one after the other, testifies Rabih, present on the scene the evening of the accident. I was down there looking for my son’s body”he explains, still under the influence of emotion.

On the evening of Saturday 17, the father of the family, accompanied by his wife and two children, decides to take a ticket for Emmanuel, his junior by five years, for the new carousel located near the Corum. “There it is a young girl of 12 or 14 who sells us the ticket and it is she who launches the merry-go-round”he says.

Security gates not closed

Because if the owner of the attraction was there according to the witness, the latter was caught in a telephone conversation. “He didn’t even come to take our tickets. My wife gave them to the police to prove that he didn’t come to check”says another father, present in the carousel with his four-year-old son, just like his wife and his two-year-old baby installed them in another basket.

But in addition to unverified tickets, what mainly worried customers was the non-verification of security barriers. If Rabih’s son had the passage of the owner to close his basket, the second family had to manage. “My wife asked me how to do it. I saw that there was a kind of lock to block the barrier and we did it ourselves”, condemns the father. An omission of control which also resulted in the fall of an adult when the nacelles overturned according to the witnesses. “We saw him fall on his head”recalls Rabih.

“It was a nightmare”

On the accident, if for the moment the investigation is still ongoing, everyone remembers a big “crack”. “Then the owner ran to trip the ride and that’s where the pods flipped 180 degreescontinues the father of the family present in the attraction. We saw people falling, bodies on the ground. It was a nightmare.”

Alban Zanchiello, elected trade delegate: “The file has been filed in the rules”

How are the fairgrounds selected?

We are calling for nominations. And what we ask for is of course compliance records. And the operators provide insurance certificates and carousel control certificates. Then there is an approval from the Prefecture. It’s the regulations.
And for the reindeer carousel, which is in turmoil today, everything was provided on November 22. The case was filed properly. And its manufacture dates back to 2019, so it is recent. So based on these documents, he was welcomed to the Christmas market.

And once installed, how is the security check?

Afterwards, it is the operators who are required to make a visit every morning. For the carousel in question, he assured us that all were done.

Are there written documents attesting to these checks?

No, it’s declarative. We don’t have any technical control services.

Regarding the accident of December 17, do you have more information?

It is a part of the central axis, it seems, which has come apart and this has caused the nacelles to tilt. According to our information, all the passengers were restrained by the security bars. The question that arises concerns the two people who fell, to know what happened, why they fell to the ground.

Witnesses say the exact opposite…

Afterwards, if there was a lack of security by the operator, I will be unable to say. We have to let the investigation take place. Afterwards the responsibilities will be established, one way or another. An expert has been commissioned on this subject. He should come this week to precisely determine what could have happened.

A scare for Rabih too. “My son’s body was half outside. I tried to grab him by climbing over a barrier, but I couldn’t reach him”, he recalls. In the end, with the help of the other passers-by at the Christmas market, each child was able to be evacuated, with a few bruises, and a good deal of trauma.

As for the parents, four families have already filed a complaint according to their lawyer, Maître Medico. “My clients are overwhelmed by this evening which was to be, as for all, a moment of joy and relaxation in the company of their children, says the latter. Even if they are also relieved that the consequences were not even more dramatic, they want all the light to be shed on the course of events. It is in this spirit that I seized the public prosecutor of Montpellier by filing a complaint for involuntary injuries and endangering the lives of others.

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Carousel accident in Montpellier: “We saw people falling one after the other” says a witness

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