A serious accident ended a carnival parade in Kehl, Baden-Württemberg on Sunday: six people were injured when a parade van caught fire, at least one of them seriously, as the police in Offenburg announced. The procession, which tens of thousands of people watched from the side of the road, was canceled.
To save themselves from the flames, several people who were on the trailer of the parade van of a carnival group from Glottertal jumped onto the street.
According to the city of Kehl, the fire broke out in the interior of the car, which represented a ship. According to police, the moving truck was badly damaged. The city announced that the victim, who was seriously injured due to the fire, was flown to a clinic in a rescue helicopter.
According to information from the city of Kehl, the helicopter was initially unable to land at the scene of the emergency, but instead circled over it and finally diverted to Sundheim airfield. The burned-out moving van was removed shortly after 5 p.m.
The police said the cause of the fire was the deflagration of an engine on a trailer shortly after 3 p.m. This resulted in the fire. According to police, the fire department extinguished the fire promptly. The Kehler fire department was on site with 16 emergency services. The police have not yet been able to provide any information about the extent of the damage. The officers from the Kehl police station began the investigation.
According to the city, the parade began at 1:30 p.m. as a happy and exuberant celebration. "When the float caught fire, a good third of the 95 groups had just passed the stands on the market square."
In order to avoid chaos, the city leaders and the Kehler Fastnacht support association agreed that music as well as the sale of drinks and food could continue in the fool's village on the market square and in the area in front of the town hall until 6 p.m.
Resident Jan Fritzsche describes what happened around 3 p.m.: "We heard a detonation and then it suddenly started burning. Fire brigade, police and ambulance came straight away. People were first evacuated here and then it was "The fire was put out. It was pretty hot here." The fire department asked people to leave quickly.
During Carnival parades, sometimes serious incidents occur again and again: In Eppingen in 2018, an 18-year-old was held over a kettle of hot water by a group of disguised witches during a Carnival parade. The young woman scalded her legs. The cauldron was located on a group pull wagon and was heated by a wood-fired stove.
In 2017, a 26-year-old was used to protect a tractor during a carnival parade in Hambrücken near Karlsruhe. However, the young woman stumbled and was run over by the vehicle. She suffered life-threatening injuries. Also in 2017, a then 21-year-old fell from a carnival float in Markt Indersdorf, Upper Bavaria, during a parade. He fell headfirst to the ground from a height of four meters and was critically injured.