Saturday, 31. January 2015
11. 04. 11. - 15:00
Dozens of holidaymakers fled in horror as two horses bolted in the heart of Vienna yesterday afternoon (Sun).
The Fiaker carriage horses thundered through the Hofburg Palace’s main passage route – which is frequented by thousands of vacationers every day – after their owner lost control over them at Heldenplatz Square.
Their carriage was parked and empty when the horses broke free to start their run which ended a few hundred metres further at Michaelerplatz Square when another horse carriage driver managed to calm them down.
No one was injured as several tourists strolling through the busy Hofburg Palace passage managed to get clear at the very last moment as the crazed animals came galloping from behind them.
The incident was the latest in a wave of unfortunate occasions involving Fiaker carriage horses, which are one of the capital’s main tourism attractions.
Earlier this year, a six-year-old horse died on the spot under unclear circumstances in the city centre. The fatality was preceded by an incident in which a Fiaker driver was run down by his own carriage after the horses suddenly bolted.
Animal rights activists have claimed Fiaker businesspeople are doing too little to protect their animals from the stifling heat of summertime and freezing temperatures in winter as they line up for customers.
Viennese officials started to carry out unannounced breathalyser checks on Fiaker drivers to identify, punish and ban drink-drivers.
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