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Man dies in fall at Disney World

ORLANDO, Florida (CNN) -- A visitor to Disney World died after stepping out of a ride at the theme park Sunday, officials said

The 37-year-old man was a passenger on the Splash Mountain water ride when the accident happened around 2 p.m., spokeswoman Renee Callahan said.

A spokesman with the Orange County Sheriff's Office, Bernie Presha, said the man stepped out of the log-shaped boat midway through the attraction, a mostly indoor flume ride with several dips.

"The ride continued, there were other boats coming by, and one of them struck the individual on the upper torso," Presha said.

He said it was unclear why the man, believed to have been visiting the park with a friend, left the boat, or whether he slipped after exiting.

Witnesses reported seeing the man alongside the water flume.

Following the accident, Disney officials evacuated and shut down the ride, Callahan said. Presha said the sheriff's office was continuing its investigation.

The man was taken to the emergency room at Celebration Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:08 p.m., hospital spokesman Matt Jacques said.

The victim's name and details of his injuries were withheld pending notification of relatives.

Splash Mountain, located in the Frontierland section of Disney World's Magic Kingdom, remained closed Sunday.

Last September, a 4-year-old boy at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, was critically injured after becoming trapped under a car on a ride.

And in December 1998, two adults were critically injured when a post on a ship holding a line attached to a dock at Disneyland tore loose from the ship and hit the patrons.



RELATED STORIES:
Congressional panel begins hearings on roller coaster safety
May 17, 2000
String of amusement park accidents cause concern
August 8, 1999

RELATED SITES:
Walt Disney World
Orange County Sheriff's Department


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