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Disneyland probes roller coaster accident

A locomotive broke loose on Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster Friday.
A locomotive broke loose on Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster Friday.

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Anaheim Police Sgt. Rick Martinez explains the roller coaster accident.
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BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN
Built in Disneyland in 1979 and has been copied in Orlando, Florida's Walt Disney World, Disneyland Tokyo and Disneyland Paris.

The ride covers 9.5 acres. The mountains are made of concrete and the tracks are steel.

There are five, 5-car trains.

The ride is 2,500 feet and lasts 3 minutes, 15 seconds.

The train reaches speeds of 28 miles per hour and averages 23 miles per hour.
Source: hiddenmickeys.org
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Disneyland
Disasters and Accidents
Michael Eisner

(CNN) -- Disneyland will offer counseling to all those who need it following an accident at the California theme park that left one man dead on Friday, according to a Disney spokesman.

The mid-morning accident on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster left 10 people injured. All of those hurt have been released from the hospital, officials in Anaheim, California, said Saturday.

The accident happened when the locomotive derailed and disconnected from the rest of the train, which contains the passenger cars. Officials said they were still unsure how it disconnected, and said that would be part of the investigation.

All six victims taken to UC-Irvine Medical Center were released by Saturday afternoon, spokeswoman Kim Pine said. Five had minor injuries and the sixth, Vicente Gutierrez, 22, had facial lacerations, bruises, and fractured ribs, she said.

Two people were taken to Western Medical Center, where they were treated and released Friday, a spokeswoman said. Another two were treated at the scene.

While Disneyland remains open to visitors, the attraction is closed while investigators try to determine the cause of the accident, Disney spokesman Bob Tucker said. The Anaheim Fire Department and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) are in charge of the probe, he said.

"Now we're just in that kind of investigative period where we're letting the folks do their work," Tucker said. He said the cause of the accident was still unknown.

Tucker said no concerns about safety were voiced Saturday, but "we are providing counseling for anybody that requires it."

The man killed in the accident was not identified. He died at the scene.

At a park so proud of its safety record, the accident led Disney chief executive Michael Eisner to make a personal appearance Friday and assure guests and employees that their safety is the company's "top priority."

Disneyland's Web site says the cars of the train blast through makeshift mine shafts, bat caves, and caverns, past falling rocks and tumbling waterfalls. The ride includes plenty of twists and turns along the way, and passengers are warned to beware of falling rocks.

The ride was in full operation at the time of the accident, but authorities said they were unsure how many people were aboard. The ride can hold a maximum of 32 people.

Jay Rasulo, president of Walt Disney Theme Parks and Resorts, said all of its rides are tested every morning, and that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad had undergone its test Friday morning without any problems.


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