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BREAKING NEWS: Accident on Big Thunder
Frontierland ride to be down for weeks; human error cited
Updated 1:30 p.m. PDT Friday, July 9, 2004
Less than a year after the tragedy on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride killed a man and injured 10 others, the attraction was the site of yet another accident tonight.
Disneyland spokesman Bob Tucker told MousePlanet, "Late this afternoon two cars bumped into one another. In an abundance of caution, the attraction is closed. DOSH (the Division of Occupational Safety and Health) has been notified."
Tucker said that Disney is working with DOSH to investigate the incident, and does not know when the ride would reopen.
The accident scene is completely visible from outside the attraction, with a clear view from the Rancho Del Zocalo restaurant in Frontierland. For this reason, the two rows of tables nearest the wall adjacent to the ride is currently off-limits, with "reserved" signs on them, and Disneyland managers making sure that nobody tries to sit there.
The ride was closed immediately after the accident. Members of Disney security and managers who are ringing the perimeter of the Big Thunder attraction area, are telling guests, "The ride is closed. Keep moving," in order to prevent rubberneckers. They are telling park guests to expect the ride to be down for the rest of the night.
The helicopter footage from station KCAL 9 appears to show what looks
like a train in the right side of the station, and a second train entering
the right side of the station. In other words, it looks like the track
switch might have failed, sending both trains into the same station. Note
that the existence of the second train is not visible from the ground
level outside the attraction. In addition, the footage does not show a
collision between two trains, making it possible that the attraction experienced
a switching error as one train arrived into the station.
NBC4 out of Los Angeles reported that an 11-year-old boy complained of neck injury, but was not transported to a hospital.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that three people suffered minor back and neck pain, and quoted Maria Sabol, Anaheim Fire Department spokeswoman, as saying, "A 10-year-old boy, a 44-year-old woman and a 42-year-old man were transported by private ambulance to a local area hospital after an accident on the roller coaster about 5:05 p.m."
Regular readers of MousePlanet and Disneyland park afficionados will probably remember that there as another accident on Saturday, April 3 of this year, less than a week after it reopened after the September 2003 accident.
MousePlanet will continue cover this accident as more details become available.
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact us here.
MousePlanet provides detailed coverage about the accident history of Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster. The main page with the most recent updates is available here.
The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad experienced an accident at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 8, 2004. Read our original breaking-news coverage of this accident here.
The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad experienced an emergency stop on Saturday, April 3, 2004, less than a week after it reopened from the 2003 accident. No injuries were reported for this accident. Read our coverage of this accident here.
A locomotive on the Big Thunder Mountail Railroad in Disneyland's Frontierland broke loose at approximately 11:20 a.m. on Friday, September 5, killing 1 man and injuring 10 others.
Our main page about the
The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad locomotive broke loose from the rest of the train at 11:20 a.m. on Friday, September 5, 2003.
Single fatality: Marcelo Torres (22) from Gardena, California, of undisclosed causes.
10 injured victims, including the following, who were transported to the University of California Irvine Medical Center:
Designed and manufactured by: WED/Walt Disney Imagineering
Ride type: Mine train type roller coaster
Opened: September 2, 1979
Maximum height: 104 feet at the top of Big Thunder Peak
Maximum capacity: 32
Height requirement: 40 inches tall (3 feet 4 inches) [correction]
Safety restraint: Single bench-wide lap bar (bench sits two)
Speed: 28 miles per hour
Disneyland's BTMRR was created in-house by Disney Imagineers. The WDW version was built in 1980. The Disneyland Paris version was built in 1992.
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Submit info: We update this page as news becomes available. If you have some news to share, contact Lani Teshima.
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