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Nando Times

20 hurt in fire at German amusement park

The Associated Press

BERLIN (May 1, 2001 12:02 p.m. EDT) - A fire broke out Tuesday on a roller coaster at a western German amusement park, slightly injuring about 20 people, police said.

The fire broke out on the mostly wooden roller coaster at the Phantasialand park in Bruehl near Cologne. The park was filled with tens of thousands of visitors on May Day, which is a public holiday in Germany.

Michael Kreuzberg, the mayor of Bruehl, said the park was later emptied of visitors and the fire was under control.

The Interior Ministry in North Rhine-Westphalia said it could not rule out deaths or more serious injuries.

Rescue workers from across the area were called in to help, and a nearby autobahn was closed in both directions.

Police said earlier that the fire could have possibly spread from the roller coaster to other rides.

-- Rachel Gibson (, May 01, 2001

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