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4-Year-Old Dies On Disney Ride

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

A 4-year-old Sellersville boy died Monday at Walt Disney World after collapsing while riding a space flight simulator that has caused chest pains and nausea in older riders.

The ride, Mission: Space, is at the center of an ongoing federal lawsuit between the Bucks County company that originated the design and Disney - a suit in which public safety is among the issues.

Daudi Bamuwamye, son of a U.N. financial official from Uganda, was pronounced dead two hours after boarding the attraction at Epcot Center near Orlando, Fla.

Steve Hanson, chief investigator for the medical examiner, said a cause of death might not be known for weeks. An autopsy found no broken bones or other signs of trauma.

Hanson said there was no way yet of knowing whether the ride might have contributed to the death. Further tests will not be completed for several weeks.

Environmental Tectonics Corp., who Disney had contracted for the ride design, alleges in a lawsuit that they were prevented from participating in safety testing of the ride, increasing the risks of injury to the public.


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Comments (15)

Jumpin' Jesus on a pogo sti... (Below threshold)

Jumpin' Jesus on a pogo stick....

I went on that ride with my family. Made my mother ill for the rest of the day - maybe we got lucky on that ride.

Here in Orlando they ran qu... (Below threshold)

Here in Orlando they ran quite a few stories related to this on the local news, and one put this in perspective. Over 8 million people have ridden Mission Space, and only 6 have been hospitalized (with chest pains, fainting, etc.). This is the first death.

That makes the probability, thus far, of being "injured" or killed roughly 7.5e10-7... or, .00000075.

Nothing to see hear... just a very unfortunate and very improbable occurence that probably has very little to do with the ride. The autopsy revealed no obvious cause of death.

Oops... that should be "Not... (Below threshold)

Oops... that should be "Nothing to see here...". I couldn't let that one hang around uncorrected. :-)

What bothered me about the ... (Below threshold)

What bothered me about the entire storyline was the fact some idiot is already calling for "standardization" of such rides.

As Boortz noted this morning, the matter is already handled quite nicely by insurance companies who would never risk insuring a ride they were not convinced was "safe"....which never means completely safe, of course.

& Yes, I have ridden the ride and enjoyed it!


Um, should a 4 year old be ... (Below threshold)

Um, should a 4 year old be allowed on this ride in the first place?

Several points:1) Ne... (Below threshold)

Several points:
1) News reports that mentioned the people that were sent to the hospital after riding MS either fail to also mention, or if they do they add it after the "scare" is presented, that all these people checked out fine at the ER.

2) The medical examiner's initial findings show no signs of trauma to the boy.

3) The maximum G's the ride places on the rider is 2 G's. Ride designers interviewed by the media after this all say that force is "no big deal" when it comes to ride designs.

4) Shocked friends are quoted in the press that the boy was a "premie" baby and had a lot of health problems earlier in life. I'll bet the farm that the final results will show that the cause of death was an undiagnosed condition in the poor boy.

5) Every year there are examples of perfectly healthy kids dropping dead on playgrounds, basketball courts, etc. from conditions like I mentioned in #4, and we don't tell kids they must stop playing or playing team sports.

3) The maximum G's the r... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

3) The maximum G's the ride places on the rider is 2 G's. Ride designers interviewed by the media after this all say that force is "no big deal" when it comes to ride designs.

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Alabama used to have a centrifuge ride that pulled 3.5G, which is more than a Shuttle launch. I've ridden it many times, starting in my pre-teens.

What? No comment about the ... (Below threshold)

What? No comment about the Sciavo autopsy?

Choice quote that makes you look like a moralizing moron:

"The brain weighed 615 grams, roughly half of the expected weight of a human brain," he said. "This damage was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons."

Dave:Hmmm, didn't re... (Below threshold)

Hmmm, didn't realize the numbers who rode that ride - I had no ill effects from the ride and mother can be a bit "delicate". The ride is perfectly safe when you apply hard numbers to it, which it seems people are loathe to do. I wonder if this story would have gotten as much press if the boy's father wasn't a part of the UN.

...no amount of therapy ... (Below threshold)

...no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons.

AG, you'll say anything to get out of therapy, won't you?

Larry, to be honest, I hadn... (Below threshold)

Larry, to be honest, I hadn't even heard that the father was affiliated with the United Nations. My perspective (and the coverage that shapes it) may be slightly skewed, however, since I live in Orlando where Disney employs tens of thousands of people and contributes several billion to the local economy every year.

There was simply no chance that people around here woudn't know about it. I think these things tend to be pretty well covered, though. Did you guys hear about the Thunder Mountain accident that killed someone a year or two ago?

Yes, thunder mountain has b... (Below threshold)
Mark A.:

Yes, thunder mountain has been plagued with many problems over the past 4 or 5 years. I used to represent Disney in personal injury litigation and lets just say, I won't allow my kids on what used to be my favorite ride in Anahiem.

from: Mytumbi Bamuwamye</p... (Below threshold)

from: Mytumbi Bamuwamye


i am the financial miniter from uganda, who is soon to inherit from the Disney the sum of 10,000,000,00 us and need your assistance. please send me your bank account information so that you might help with the transaction...

(only a matter of time)

I really think this is unfo... (Below threshold)

I really think this is unfortunate for the family. 4 years old is really young and I think that if he met the height requirements, that the safety people enforced on this ride, then there must have been something else wrong. Like I said that is really sad for the family, and really isnt there fault either. You cant tell a kid, NO you arent riding the ride if he meets the requirements and you are there on vacation. SOmething happened that was unstoppable, and things happen for a reason. Im sorry to the family that this had to happen to them, or to anyone that has lost a loved one. It is hard. But lets not blame Disney, they really cant have any way of knowing if there was something wrong with the kid, or any kid or adult for that matter. If the parents didnt know there was anything wrong with him, how would you expect a amusement park to know. It was a freak accident, that is very unfortunate. I am sue he will be greatly missed. My heart and prayers go out to everyone involved.

FYI and in case you're inte... (Below threshold)

FYI and in case you're interested.

We've posted some of the pleadings in the lawsuit between Disney and the maker of Mission:Space over at www.themelaw.com, the law school's amusement law blog.

Prof. Chad Emerson
Jones School of Law






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