Injuries at Disney World?
Hi everyone! :minnie: I was just wondering if anyone knew any stories about accidents that have happened at the parks recently? I have read some stuff on www.snopes.com but was just wondering if maybe anyone had a personal experience of something going wrong on a ride. As much as I love Disney World and would hate for something to go wrong, I'm curious :-P Also, has anyone heard about someone else dying on Mission Space?
Newspaper article on Mission Space
Hey guys- just wanted to share with you the newspaper article I found today.
Stroke killed Disney visitor
The German woman had 'severe' high blood pressure, an autopsy finds.
Henry Pierson Curtis and Beth Kassab | Sentinel Staff Writers
Posted April 15, 2006
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RELATED STORIEShttp://www.orlandosentinel.com/images/icons/story.gif Mission: Space spurs most complaints
Apr 14, 2006
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/images/icons/story.gif Ride can aggravate health conditions
Apr 14, 2006
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/images/icons/story.gif Medical Examiner: German tourist died from bleeding of brain
Apr 14, 2006
A German tourist who was hospitalized this week after riding Walt Disney World's Mission: Space died from a stroke, according to preliminary autopsy results released Friday.
Dr. Jan Garavaglia, chief medical examiner for Orange and Osceola counties, did not speculate on whether the $100 million centrifuge that spins riders at twice Earth's gravity contributed to the death of Hiltrud Blmel. Garavaglia noted that the autopsy of the 49-year-old woman from Schmitten, a town outside Frankfurt, showed "evidence of severe, long-standing high blood pressure."
Disney has 13 warning signs at the attraction, including eight that caution tourists that high blood pressure among other conditions could be a risk factor on the ride.
The role of the ride, if any, will not be known until "the official cause and manner of death" can be determined by test results in four to six weeks, according to the written statement.
Blmel complained of dizziness and general illness after the ride ended Tuesday. At 1:19 p.m., a Disney worker called 911 and Blmel reached Florida Hospital Celebration Health shortly after 2 p.m.
A CT scan of the brain prompted doctors at the hospital to conclude Blmel had suffered a "hypertensive bleed within the brain," according to Garavaglia's office. Blmel died about 24 hours later at 2 p.m. Wednesday, according to the death certificate.
Disney officials would not comment on the death, except to express their sympathies for Blmel's family. Disney is waiting for the complete autopsy findings before commenting.
Nausea and other symptoms of motion sickness have been fairly common for riders of Mission: Space since the roughly 4-minute, mock spaceflight to Mars opened in the summer of 2003.
Concerns about its safety briefly surged last June after the death of Daudi Bamuwamye, a 4-year-old from Pennsylvania. His autopsy showed he suffered from a rare, undiagnosed heart ailment that was so severe that the startling sound of a popping balloon could have killed him.
"The warning signs indicate that Mission: Space is not for every guest," Disney spokeswoman Kim Prunty said. "I don't know what else to say beyond that."
Epcot's brochure, available in German and other languages at the park entrance, warns that riders of Mission: Space and Test Track "should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure."
Disney is not planning to conduct its own evaluation of whether the ride contributed to Blmel's death but routinely reviews its thrill rides, Prunty said.
"We're not medical professionals," Prunty said. "Everyone relies on them to complete those kinds of studies."
A study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions last year warned people with heart disease to stay away from roller coasters, but it did not address centrifugal rides or simulation rides.
The study, which placed electrocardiograms on 55 participants, found the heart rates of riders increased dramatically during and after the ride, particularly for women.
"After the ride stopped, nearly half of the participants had irregular heartbeats . . . even though their heartbeat rates had returned to normal and were inside the range of a normal heartbeat rate," wrote the lead researcher, Dr. Jurgen Kuschyk.
Warnings, however, often go ignored.
A debate on an Internet message board dating to 2004 about the safety of Mission: Space included nine people who said they had high blood pressure, but rode the ride anyway. Some said they felt no effects. Others said they were sick.
"Sorry to be a spoiler but I have HBP [high blood pressure] and am on meds, and I LOVED mission space but was soooo sick I thought I wouldn't make it to the end of the attraction," one message stated. "I would not have ridden it if I had known how bad I would feel but it is a pretty incredible experience."
Scott Powers of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report. Henry Pierson Curtis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-420-5257. Beth Kassab can be reached at email@example.com or 407-420-5448.