13 March 2011 by Leslie Postal, ORLANDO SENTINEL
A worker at Disney's Animal Kingdom suffered a head injury that required him to be airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center this afternoon.
The accident occurred at the Primeval Whirl ride in the DinoLand U.S.A. section, said Bo Jones, assistant chief of Reedy Creek Emergency Services.
Jones said his department responded to the accident scene and then called for the Air Care Team at ORMC to fly the injured man downtown. The man, who was not identified, was reportedly in critical condition.
The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, Jones said.
The Primeval Whirl — described as a mild roller coaster by Disney — is closed for maintenance, he added, so no Disney guests were in the area at the time of the accident.
Disney spokesman Zoraya Suarez said tonight that "right now our concern is for our cast member." She added that Disney staff was at the hospital with the man's family.
Suarez said the accident was under review but that she had no immediate information about what had happened.
In 2008, federal investigators charged Disney with five safety violations and fined the company more than $21,000 for a fatal accident at the Primeval Whirl ride a year earlier.
In that November 2007 accident, ride attendant Karen Price, 63, was working on an elevated rider-loading platform when she was struck by a ride vehicle and knocked to the ground. She hit her head and died five days later.
After that accident, the company renovated the rider-loading platform so that sensors could shut down the ride if someone entered a particular area. GO BACK