Disney Monorail Death
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is opening up a probe into what killed a monorail operator at Walt Disney World in Florida.
21-year-old Austin Wuennenberg’s died Sunday when a monorail crashed into a second one around 2.a.m. It is the first death ever in the history of the monorail.
"The emergency crews were arriving at the same time and they were trying to get the driver out of the train, the purple hit the pink one," Scott Duplessis, who was a park visitor tells Fox 35. He said the metal of the two train cars was fused and there was no way for him and another person to rescue the driver.
Duplessis said he was told by Disney that there is a safety feature on the monorail system that is supposed to prevent the two trains from getting close to each other unless someone overrides the system. Disney World did not confirm that to the television station.
Local Six television, quoting someone claiming to be a trainer of monorail operators, said a lot would have to go wrong for a collision to occur, either a switch malfunctioned or someone was negligent. There is also a “kill switch” at Monorail Central which anyone can hit if they see two cars getting too close. The source said the rule is that someone is supposed to be standing within a foot of the kill switch at all times.
The driver from the second train was taken to the hospital. Five guests and two other employees were evacuated and apparently not injured.
Disney has a dozen monorail trains with six cars each. They travel the 14.7 miles of elevated monorail throughout the property taking about 7,000 guests each direction every hour.
The transit system, which shuttles about 150,000 people on an average day, has been shut down while OSHA investigates. That investigation could take up to six months.
There is no word about the accident or alternate transportation on the Disney World Transportation Web site. #