There is mourning in Thuringia after a fatal accident on the bobsleigh and luge track in Oberhof. According to the Suhl State Police Inspectorate, a 45-year-old man died on Thursday evening. He suffered such serious injuries that he died in hospital, police said on Friday. In addition, a 41-year-old was seriously injured and other people were slightly injured.
“Obviously, both a four-man bob and a double tube ring – a so-called ice tube – were on the track at the same time for reasons that have not yet been clarified. In the outlet area, they collided," it said. In addition to the pilot, two other men and a woman are said to have been in the bobsled. Two of them were taken to the hospital. Ice tubes are rubber rings filled with air.
The police deployed a crisis intervention team. The inspection also announced that an expert had been commissioned to reconstruct the accident. The Suhl criminal police will take over the further investigations.
Thuringia's State Secretary Torsten Weil (left) was also in the four-man bobsled. This was confirmed by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Agriculture on Friday. The other passengers were an employee of the ministry and an employee of Thuringia Forest. The bob was steered by a professional bobsledder.
"The terrible accident on the Oberhof bobsleigh track took a person's life." He and his family mourn the deceased, hope for a speedy recovery for the injured and thank the helpers "who worked tirelessly last night," wrote the Thuringian Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left) on Twitter.
According to the previous investigations, a guest bobsled in the target area in two hose rings, so-called ice tubes, drove, as an employee of the German Press Agency said. The man who was killed is said to have been in one of these hose rings, with which laypeople can also use the railway.
The accident happened around 6:40 p.m. Around two dozen police, fire brigade, mountain rescue and medical services were on site. The cause of the accident is still unclear, it is the subject of police investigations. Until the cause of the accident has been clarified, the operator has suspended rail operations with immediate effect. Competitions and training operations planned for Friday are therefore cancelled, as the employee said.
The luge world championships took place on the track at the end of January. The site is also used for guest events. For example, guests can ride in a bobsleigh steered by a professional or ride down the ice chute with tube rings.