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woman dies after disney ride

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ORLANDO, Fla. (April 13) - Walt Disney World reopened its "Mission: Space" attraction Thursday, a day after a woman who became ill after leaving the ride died at a hospital.

   


   

It was the second death in less than a year related to the Epcot Center ride, which spins riders in a centrifuge that subjects them to twice the normal force of gravity. It is considered so intense it has motion sickness bags and signs warning people with heart, back and neck problems not to board it.

The 49-year-old German woman who died Wednesday had reported dizziness and nausea after stepping off the ride on Tuesday, Disney reported to state officials.

   


   
The medical examiner's office identified the victim Thursday as Hiltrud Bleumel and said an autopsy was planned Friday. Disney spokeswoman Kim Prunty said Thursday that the woman's family didn't want any information about her released.

Disney had told state officials that the woman may have had high blood pressure and other unspecified health problems.

"Walt Disney World engineers and ride system experts completed a thorough inspection of the attraction overnight and found it to be operating properly," the theme park said Thursday in announcing the reopening of the ride.

A worker from the state Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection monitored the testing and said the ride didn't appear "to be acting abnormal in any way," said Terence McElroy, a spokesman for Florida's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which oversees the bureau.

An incident report on the death may not be available for months, McElroy said.

The $100 million ride, one of Disney World's most popular, was also closed in June after the death of a 4-year-old boy who passed out while aboard. An autopsy concluded he died of a heart condition that a medical examiner said can cause sudden death in stressful situations.


Entry #358

Comments

1.
angelmComment by angelm - April 14, 2006, 8:52 am
I hate rollercoaster rides!I am terrified of heights!
2.
ToddComment by Todd - April 14, 2006, 10:14 am
That ride is one of the best ones at any of the Disney parks. It's really incredible. But people who get motion sickness should avoid it at all costs.
3.
ToddComment by Todd - April 14, 2006, 10:17 am
BTW, angelm, that ride is not a rollercoaster, and you don't go off the ground. It's a simulation of what it's like to be inside a rocket when it takes off (and lands). They strap you in a seat in an enclosed "capsule" and depending where you sit you have certain "flight duties" to perform, like starting the booster engines or something. It is all done in a centrifuge, which makes you feel like your body is sinking back in the seat when you take off. It is totally amazing.
4.
LOTTOMIKEComment by LOTTOMIKE - April 14, 2006, 12:04 pm
thanks angel! thanks todd for explaining the ride.i thought it was a roller coaster also.sounds fun though!

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