Calgary bobsled track accident kills twin brothers, injures 6 other teens
Park operator says he's not aware of people accessing the track after-hours before
Two teenage twin brothers are dead and six of their friends are injured after attempting to use their own toboggan on the bobsled track at Canada Olympic Park, according to CBC sources.
Emergency crews were called to the track around 1:30 a.m. MT.
The 17-year-olds were pronounced dead at the scene and six others were taken to area hospitals. The families of the victims have been notified, police confirm.
"Part way down, the group hit a large gate used to separate the bobsled and luge tracks," according to police.
Staff Sgt. Paul Wyatt said police are continuing their efforts to identify all those involved. But it has been difficult due to the nature of the injuries, he said.
He said the survivors are "severely traumatized" and investigators are at hospital waiting to speak with them.
Site operator responds
Barry Heck, the CEO of site operator WinSport, says safety is "very, very important" to his organization, and despite some social media posts alleging others have used the track after-hours, he is not aware of it.
"I have heard of incidents of people coming into the park," Heck said at a news conference Saturday evening.
"I do not personally know of any incidents of anyone being on the sliding track."
Beck said the incident has devastated the non-profit organization that operates Canada Olympic Park.
"Today is the most tragic day in WinSport's history."
He says safety has always been first and foremost for WinSport.
The company said earlier Saturday it is working with the Calgary Police Service in their investigation and will conduct its own review as well.
Calgary police said WinSport will be handing over any surveillance footage that may help in the investigation.
'An awful accident'
Jeff Hughes lives near the track, off an access road to the facility. He says the road used to be closed at night, but has recently been open through the night.
"Kids are kids, they make a decision they want to go and have some fun and usually they figure out a way to have it, so I don't believe that the road being open or closed would have made a difference, but who knows," he said.
Local Coun. Richard Pootmans offered his condolences to the victims' families and friends.
"It sounds like an awful accident, and clearly we'll have lots of questions, but today we just wish to express our sorrow to the family," he said.
Melissa Lowe — a bobsleigh pilot — tweeted that the track is her "home away from home" and that she is "beyond devastated" at the news.
The track at COP is my home away from home and where my love affair with bobsleigh started. Beyond devastated about the news this morning.—@Mellowe93
The hill remained open Saturday, but the halfpipe and terrain park, as well as the bobsled and luge track, were closed.