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VR Roller Coasters Collide in Madrid; 33 Injured Including Children

Spanish authorities say 33 people, including six children under 10 years old, have been injured in a roller coaster collision equipped with VR headsets.

According to the Associated Press, 27 people needed hospital treatment for minor injuries when two roller coaster cars collided Sunday on the “Tren de la Mina” (Mind Train) at Madrid’s Parque de Atracciones theme park. The accident took place around 2:30pm local time.

An emergency services spokeswoman Carmen Camacho said that none of the injuries appeared to be serious. Initial reports state that one train carriage, which had just completed the loop, failed to stop and hit the back of another carriage which was about to leave.

Although wearing a VR headset on the roller coaster was probably not the cause, it likely added to the surprise of the collision. One eyewitness told The Daily Mail, “with the virtual reality glasses people didn’t expect the crash and half lost their teeth or backs. There were a bunch of kids there, and no one was expecting the hit.”

The roller coaster, the TNT Tren de la Mina, reaches a height of 17.5 meters (57.5 feet) and travels through waterfalls at a maximum speed of 55 kilometers (35 miles) per hour, according to the theme park’s website. Opened on June 10th, it’s the first roller coaster in Spain to incorporate VR headsets into the ride experience.

The VR experience, powered by Gear VR headsets, takes you into a ghostly mine and includes interactive gaming elements, allowing riders to shoot skeletons and spiders by aiming with their gaze.

Police and park officials are now investigating the cause of the accident.

One eyewitness captured video of investigators covering the ride trains.

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