Steep slide shuts down less than 24 hours after opening after multiple injuries

Posted at 8:13 AM, May 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-13 10:13:40-04

A steep 38-meter long slide has been closed due to reports of multiple injuries, less than 24 hours after it opened in Spain.

The slide, which connects two streets in the Costa del Sol town of Estepona and has been dubbed the longest urban slide in Spain, was opened Thursday as part of the city’s expansion of the Los Ninos Park area.

It was intended to allow both children and adults to speed between Avenida Reina Sofia and Calle Eslovaquia in seconds, avoiding a ten-minute walk. The council also built a walkway down the steep verge for the less adventurous.

The slide, however, has a gradient of between 32 and 34 degrees and its users took to social media shortly after its unveiling to express anger and concern over the installation’s safety.

One user shared photos of her grazed elbows on Twitter after using the slide. “I went down it and I hurt myself everywhere. I flew two meters and the police started laughing,” she wrote on Twitter.

Another person said: “The slide in Estepona is crazy; a danger to citizens. People who go down it are mindless.”

A third person wrote on Facebook: “When the mayor of Estepona comes up with this great idea… I see the ambulance there every day.”

The city council subsequently announced Friday that it had ordered an “additional review and the preventative closure” of the slide.

It stated, however, that the slide’s security had been certified by the “specialist installation company” and that the council had placed instructions on how to use the slide safely next to the structure.

“The city council placed instructions on how to use the slide in an appropriate manner in order to avoid risks,” it said in a statement.

“Among them, people are forbidden from sliding while lying down, it is mandatory to slide while seated and with arms in, and it is not permitted to use the installation when it is being used by someone else.”

The council also attempted to assuage growing concerns among locals, after images and videos were posted on social media showing individuals flying off the end of the slide.

“The image disseminated widely on social media corresponds to an isolated event,” the council said.

“More than a thousand people tested the slide yesterday [Thursday}, made appropriate use of it, and had no trouble. Nevertheless, given the situation, the council has requested a new review to provide maximum guarantees for users.”

Other locals saw the funnier side of the new installation. One individual wrote on Twitter: “The new slide in Estepona is a great idea for connecting the streets. Dentists will be rubbing their hands.”

Another individual questioned: “How long do you think it will take for a drunk tourist to die there?”