Walt Disney World officials have announced that they plan to keep a popular roller coaster in their park closed for the summer while federal officials continue their investigation into an amusement park accident that killed an employee. Disney reported that a mechanic was killed in March while working on the Primeval Whirl, a roller coaster in Disney’s Animal Kingdom amusement park. This roller coaster has been shut down for maintenance since January, and Disney reports that it will not open again until September 14 at the earliest. The ride had previously been scheduled to reopen in April, but that opening was postponed until June until the most recent announcement that the ride will be closed for the summer.
The new date coincides with a deadline imposed by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to finish their investigation into the death of the 52-year-old mechanic. He was struck and killed by one of the roller coaster’s cars on March 13 and suffered a massive and fatal head injury. Disney officials have not revealed their plans to modify the ride to make it safer for visitors or maintenance crews. Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said that Disney had no further comment on the fatal amusement park accident. She said, “It would not be appropriate to comment while OSHA is still reviewing the incident.”
This is not the first fatal accident involving the Primeval Whirl. In 2007, a 63-year-old ride operator was struck by one of the cars on the coaster. The impact threw her ten feet off the ride platform, causing her to fall and strike her head. She died in the hospital five days later. OSHA issued Disney five citations in connection with this incident and fined them $21,500, which was reduced to $14,250 after Disney negotiated with the agency. During the investigation into the 2007 fatal accident, OSHA officials found two more accidents involving the Primeval Whirl.
Orlando’s many amusement parks draw millions of people to Central Florida every year who are attracted to the thrills these rides provide. However, some visitors and park employees are not so lucky. The same rides that provide thrills can also be dangerous and cause serious, even fatal, injuries. Many people injured in area amusement parks contact Orlando personal injury attorneys such as James O. Cunningham to help them seek damages against negligent amusement park operators. If you’re a resident or visitor to our area and have been injured in an amusement park accident, you may have questions about your legal options. Call 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000 today to schedule a free consultation with Mr. Cunningham. Discover the difference that an experienced Orlando personal injury lawyer can make.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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