Disney Reopens 'Mission: SPACE' Ride After Woman's Death
ORLANDO, Florida (AP) - An autopsy was planned Friday for a 49-year-old German woman who became ill on a ride at Walt Disney World.
The theme park reopened its "Mission: Space'' attraction on Thursday, a day after German visitor Hiltrud Bleumel died at a hospital, after inspectors found no mechanical problems with the ride.
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 woman had reported dizziness and nausea after stepping off the ride on Tuesday, Disney reported to state officials. Disney spokeswoman Kim Prunty said that the woman's family did not 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 did not 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 (euro83 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.
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