More Details on Monorail Accident

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From the Orlando Sentinel:

Two Walt Disney World monorail trains collided early Sunday morning, killing the operator of one of the trains.

Walt Disney World spokesman Mike Griffin said the crash happened at about 2 a.m. Sunday, on one of the monorail’s last runs of the day.

Austin Wenneberg, 21, a Disney employee who was piloting one of the monorails died at the scene of the accident, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said. One other employee was transported to Florida Hospital Celebration. The second driver’s injuries were not serious, Griffin said.

WESH.com photos of the scene: http://www.wesh.com/slideshow/news/19956082/detail.html
ClickOrlando.com video, shot by a guest: http://www.clickorlando.com/video/19956043/index.html
WPTV.com photo of crash: http://www.wptv.com/Photo.aspx?content_id=0c8c0e15-cdc9-488b-9f03-a72f43ccef1a

The trains were transporting guests leaving Epcot. Six park guests were on the train during the crash, and were evaluated by paramedics at the scene according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

According to park schedules, Epcot closed Saturday at 10 p.m.

The wreck is the first fatal accident in the Walt Disney World monorail system’s almost 38-year history, according to CFNews13.com. However, at Disneyland in California, there has been at least one death on the monorail system, according to park historians.

Walt Disney World officials said they are working with law enforcement officials to find out what happened.

“Our heart goes out to the cast member and the family,” Griffin said.

Epcot is scheduled to open on time at 9 a.m. today, but the monorail to the park will not be in service, according to a Walt Disney World spokeswoman.

Walt Disney World released the following statement from Griffin regarding the incident:

“Today, we mourn the loss of our fellow cast member. Our hearts go out to his family and to those who have lost a friend and co-worker. The safety of our guests and cast members is always our top priority. The monorail is out of service and we will continue to work closely with law enforcement to determine what happened and the approximate next steps.”

Check back for updates.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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