Amsterdam playground closed over fire hazards
TunFun, an underground playground located under Mr. Visserplein, was ordered closed with immediate effect by district Centrum. The playground's fire safety is not in order, a spokesperson for the district confirmed to Het Parool.
The fire department inspected the building early this month and concluded that its fire safety was "not sufficiently in order" - the playground equipment is not fire safe and there is also criticism on the state of the electrical installations' maintenance.
The district immediately informed TunFun owner Edward van der Marel that the park will have to close if he did not take measures to improve fire safety. He was given a week and a half to submit a plan for the refurbishment of the building, and had to take care of the most urgent measures - like clearing the airways - within three days.
This came as a complete shock to TunFun. In its 15 years of existence, there was never any indications that the building and installations did not meet the requirements, Van der Marel said to Het Parool. "From the very beginning we - in consultation with the fire brigade among others - always gave high priority to the safety of our young visitors", he said.
According to Van der Marel, they worked with "man and might" to comply with the imposed measures. The airways and storage were cleared within the designated three days, but Van der Marel could not get a plan to refurbish TunFun together on time. As a result, the playground is being closed with immediate effect.
"TunFun has been closed for an indefinite period as of today (25 April 2018) by order of the municipality", the playground's website reads. In a statement on Facebook, the playground said: "This final farewell to TunFun hit the 28 TunFun employees like a bomb, and will certainly also not leave all those children and their parents (2 million) who could play fun and safe in TunFun without hindrance from weather and traffic, untouched."
The tight time frame is customary in cases where safety is at stake, a spokesperson for district Centrum said to Het Parool. "This is a drastic decision, which we would rather not have taken, given the added value of TunFun for the city center, but which we are compelled to do because the safety of TunFun's visitors is paramount."
According to Van Marel, he will have to file for bankruptcy if the decision remains unchanged. "Of course it is most painful for all those children who already booked their birthday party at TunFun or the thousands of children from all over the country who thought they were going to TunFun on a school trip", he said to Het Parool.