WhiteWater’s Statement Regarding the Fire at Liseberg Oceana Water World
Update on February 16, 2024
We are deeply saddened to learn that one person has been confirmed dead in the fire at Liseberg Oceana Water World that began on February 12. The deceased is in all likelihood the reported missing person, construction manager Patrik Gillholm, with whom our team worked very closely and who all mourn his death.
WhiteWater is fully cooperating in the official police investigation. Our subcontractor and our site supervisor have given statements, sharing the events as they witnessed them, and have now left Sweden. The head of our European office, Rainer Maelzer, and our Regional Director of Operations, Diego Reckmann, have now returned home from travelling to Gothenburg to support our client and assist with our team during this difficult situation.
Many colleagues across WhiteWater have worked hand in hand with our client Liseberg on this project since 2018 to create what was going to be the finest water park in Europe. It is devastating to see all the hard work designing and supplying the attractions, of which we were proud, consumed by flames, leaving the future of the site uncertain.
Incidents like this are extremely rare. Our focus is to help with fact-finding to understand how this tragic accident could have happened, while our hearts weigh heavy for Patrik’s family and friends.
Statement from February 12, 2024
It is devastating news that there has been a major fire at Liseberg Oceana Water World today in Gothenburg, Sweden, destroying the majority of the site.
WhiteWater has been working for several years with the Liseberg team to create Europe’s finest new water park, which contained family and kids slides, aquatic play, and waves designed and manufactured for this beautiful indoor park. It is heartbreaking to witness a fire consume all the progress which had been made as the park reached completion.
Water park developments are enormous and complicated construction projects which can take years to build. The WhiteWater supervision team was a week away from commissioning the slides—the final safety check required to hand the newly constructed slides over to the client for operation.
“At this point in time, WhiteWater’s focus is on working with our client and all of the team on site to help them through this emergency. To witness such destruction is traumatizing, and we recognize the impact this will have on many, which is where our immediate thoughts and actions reside to help them,” said Geoff Chutter, CEO of WhiteWater.
Sadly, one individual is missing and sixteen people have minor injuries. WhiteWater is respectful of the official process which has been initiated and is fully supporting the investigation as it proceeds.
Rainer Maelzer, who heads the WhiteWater team based in Europe and has worked hand in hand with the client, is on his way to the site. He commented:
“The scale of the fire and loss of this new park is shocking and incredibly sad to see. We were as proud of the park as the client and are working with them to support building an understanding of how this happened.”
Incidents like this are fortunately extremely rare and make this news so somber; our thoughts are concentrated on those immediately involved and injured as the first priority.