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NTSB Cites Lack of Safety Protocols in Fatal 2009 Disney Monorail Accident

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on November 23, 2011

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently finished its investigation into a fatal amusement park accident at Walt Disney World near Orlando. In their final report, the NTSB said that a lack of adequate safety protocols contributed to a 2009 collision between two monorail trains at the park that killed a 21-year-old employee. The NTSB’s 14-page report was the culmination of an investigation the agency conducted over more than two years in connection with the July 5, 2009 accident. The report said that one train traveling in reverse struck the front of a following train, killing the driver of the second train, a Kissimmee man.

The NTSB said that “Walt Disney World Resort’s lack of standard operating procedures leading to an unsafe practice when reversing trains” was a contributing factor in the fatal accident, which led to the agency citing Disney with four safety violations and a $35,200 fine in December 2009. Around 2 a.m. on July 5, workers were shutting down the monorail system for the night when one worker was supposed to transfer off the park’s Epcot loop onto a “switch beam,” a procedure that required the train to travel in reverse. The investigation found that the track switch was never activated by an employee in the monorail maintenance shop where the controls are located, which caused the train to reverse down the Epcot line and into the next train. Six guests were aboard the second train when the accident occurred, but none were injured in the accident.

Greg Hale, Chief Safety Officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, read a prepared statement responding to the NTSB findings. He said, “Day-in and day-out, we review safety procedures throughout our resort and continuously look for ways to improve our operations. We have been working closely with the National Transportation Safety Board during their review of our monorail operations, and we have already enhanced our system. We have just received the NTSB’s brief, and it does not offer any further recommendations.”

Since 1977, Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham has successfully represented many workers and visitors injured in Orlando amusement park accidents, and he has the resources and experience to build effective cases against the large corporations that own and operate these facilities. If you are an employee or visitor who has been injured at an area amusement park or resort and you would like to learn more about your rights and legal options, call Mr. Cunningham at 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000. Schedule your free consultation today, and get an aggressive and experienced Orlando personal injury lawyer on your side!

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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