LAKE BUENA VISTA
♦ A Disney employee was killed when the monorail trains collided just outside the Transportation and Ticket Center, located at the parking lot of the Magic Kingdom. A park official reported that the crash happened during a track switch attempt, while they were trying to remove one of the trains off the Epcot line.
For the first time ever, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating Sunday’s monorail crash at Walt Disney World that killed a cast member piloting one of the trains. The NSTB decided to launch a full investigation into the crash after reviewing preliminary crash information from Disney. The board said it has jurisdiction on Walt Disney World property because the monorail is a transport system used by the public. In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will conduct an investigation to determine if any workplace safety rules were violated.
Theme parks are not subject to state regulation. Walt Disney World and other Orlando theme parks have their own safety guidelines.
UPDATE – JULY 9, 2009 – The NTSB reported that no malfunctions have been found with the automatic train stop system, nor with any mechanical parts of the switch. No mechanical problems were found with the two trains that collided Sunday. The NTSB says a pink train was changing tracks when it backed up into a purple train. “It appears that the operator of the purple train tried to reverse to avoid the collision,” said an NSTB official.
UPDATE – July 10, 2009 – Cast Members On Paid Leave After Monorail Crash – Three Disney cast members have been put on paid leave as part of the investigative process. The three positions they hold are: monorail transportation manager, monorail shop worker, and monorail pilot. Investigators still haven’t found any problems with the monorails or tracks, and think human error may be to blame.