A 36-year-old employee of Disney's California Adventure is in critical condition 28 hours after plummeting from the catwalks of the Hyperion Theater, as of midday today.
Approximately 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 22, the electrician was working on the riggings and track of the magic carpet platform for the Aladdin show when he fell approximately 42 feet to the seats below, according to state Division of Occupational Safety & Health (DOSH) spokesman Dean Fryer.
According to Anaheim city public information manager John Nicoletti, police were on the scene by 6:05 a.m., quickly followed by emergency response crews. Medics found the victim "non-responsive" and immediately rushed him UCI Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with massive internal injuries.
DOSH arrived at the theater by 8:00 a.m. and, after investigating the scene, said Disney could open the attraction. By that time, though, workers had either been reassigned or excused from work for the day. Performances of Aladdin resumed today, Wednesday April 23.
According to Fryer, DOSH's ongoing investigation will be two-fold. "First," he said, "was the employee provided with proper training? Second, we will focus on the actual scene. Did the catwalk have railings? Did [the victim] have proper fall protection equipment? If the equipment was adequate, was it used properly?"
According to a Disney cast member, speculation among hourlies is that the worker was wearing a safety harness, but it was not anchored down.
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David Koenig is the senior editor of the 80-year-old business journal, The Merchant Magazine.
After receiving his degree in journalism from California State University, Fullerton (aka Cal State Disneyland), he began years of research for his first book, Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland (1994), which he followed with Mouse Under Glass: Secrets of Disney Animation & Theme Parks (1997, revised 2001) and More Mouse Tales: A Closer Peek Backstage at Disneyland (1999) (All titles published by Bonaventure Press).
He lives in Aliso Viejo, California, with his lovely wife, Laura, their wonderful son, Zachary, and their adorable daughter, Rebecca.