Another death on Mission:Space at WDW
Another person has died after riding Mission:Space
at Walt Disney World's Epcot. It's the second death in less than a year
associated with the ride.
The 49-year-old German woman feel ill while on the ride Tuesday, and exited complaining of nausea and dizziness. She was checked, then taken to Celebration Hospital, where she died earlier today.
Last June, a 4-year-old boy, who suffered from a previously unknown heart condition, died after going on the ride.
[Update: (4/14) A medical examiner has issued a preliminary report stating that Hiltrud Bluemel, 49, died of a stroke linked to long-standing high blood pressure. The report did not mention a connection between the ride and her death.]
Although this was tragic, I am very curious to see what previous medical conditions she had. I am willing to bet at the end of the day an autopsy or release of medical records will show that she (like the 4 year old boy) did not die as a direct result of the ride, BUT Disney will still get all the bad press in the time being from doom mongers because as the old media saying goes, "If it bleeds, it leads".
It is a shame what happened, but you can't blame it on the ride or Disney. She probibly had medical issues with her health, that she knew about or didn't. That's the chance you take. She chose to ride the ride and if the ride did not have any technical difficulties on it's end, then it is RIDE AT YOUR OWN RISK. I have rode this ride several times and had no problems. In fact I rode this ride when I was almost 2-months pregnate (I didn't know I was pregnate of course), but I have a beautiful baby boy who is just fine.
I agree with the others. My husband and I rode this last summer and I went on knowing I have inner ear problems and become motion sick easily, still I rode it. Nothing happened, I came off a little off balance as did my husband but was perfectly fine after about 10 minutes. If I had became ill knowing my medical problems, then it was my fault. The lady that died may not have known of a medical problem or she may have either way Disney isn't killing people. I would ride again but about once a trip is all I have in me. Anymore and I am afraid I would have been sick. By the way, I think it was a great ride, I got chosen to act as captain, my husband really wanted that position, but I digress.
As far as roller coaster thrill rides (including G-Force rides), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)issued the following information in 2002 (posted on the Science Daily website):
I feel it is also the guests choice to ride the ride knowing that they have underlying medical conditions. Poeple should be smart enough to know better and people should know how to take care of themselves. You should know your medical problems before you get on the rides, espically one like Mission: Space. Disney is not at fault nor is the ride at fault. The guest is at fault for riding it in the first place.
Ride re-opened today (Thursday).
There are enough warnings prior to entering the queue of a ride, then when you get close to loading there they are again.
I certainly am NOT a supporter of frivolous lawsuits and the constant lack of resonsbility owning that has become so typical in our society. However, I am also not supportive of the complete "buyer beware" philosophy. This issues lies somewhere closer to the middle. Disney needs to look at this question: "Does this ride push human bodies to a farther limit than is safe for SOME individuals?" Even when the ride is functioning normally, it may be acting as a highly potent stress test which aggravates potentially unknown medical conditions. There are some medical conditions that are not going to be detected with a checkup to your physician or with increased exercise.
As I've said before, the majority of theme park accidents are the result of guest negligence for ride health disclaimers. DISNEY IS NOT AT FAULT!
No, I don't think Disney's at fault here, but I think the incident does say something unflattering about our society (and I'm not just talking the U.S. -- the woman was from Germany) that so many people do not know their medical condition, and are not in a position to make an informed decision about the risk of riding.
Good point Robert! I really don't think that this is Disney's fault again. Of course I am very Pro-Disney, but I have seen many people go on this ride (including my family) and come off just fine! I am suprised that there was another death with this attraction. I think something is agravating it on this ride, but what?
What was the name of that carnival ride where you stand in the cylinder and it spins and the floor drops and you stick to the wall?
I have to agree with all of the previous posters. It is the rider's responsibility to decide if it is safe for them to ride. I would hate to see the outcome of a PC type revamping of amusement parks. Could you imagine a park filled with rides that could never, ever, hurt anyone that could ride. Would be pretty boring, if you ask me.
Again, we need to wait for the autopsy report to be certain what happened here, but since the pre-existing health condition has been the cause of other incidents here before, it's fair game to discuss.
Yes, the ride is now closed.
I would bet part of the issue is that we, as a culture, have become de-sensitized to warnings. In an age when a coffee cup is printed with the warning "This may contain hot liquid" we start to disregard all warnings. While most people see the warnings, they do not take them seriously - even though they should in the case of serious thrill rides.
Something to consider about the ride. For all of it's elaborate theming, it is still a centrifuge...a gravitron if you will. The thing that astronauts and fighter pilots train on. That isn't a slam on the quality of the ride at all, it's just an honest look at the rides pure bare bones functionality. Roller Coasters sometimes experience up to four positive g's at the bottom of a hill for a split second, or 3.5 in a helix for a second or two. The Mission Space ride is designed to pull 2.5 continous g's...continuous mind you. That being said, those with questionable health may or may not be able to handle the ride. There now have been two deaths connected with this ride...one during the ride, and one not too long after. One with a heart condition, and one undetermined. She complained of nausea and dizziness, probably like some have before. Unlike most before, she was taken to the hospital, and then died. I'll give you the fact that millions have safely ridden the ride with no after effects, but I have a hard time believing that this ride.. had absolutely nothing to do with hers, and the boy's death. When amusement fatalities occur, they occur as a result of accidents, breakdowns, negligence...etc. They do not occur as a result of the rides intensity. Perhaps these people were not fit for the ride, but are they really expected to know the full limits of their body? Should all go to the doctor for a full physical before a theme park visit??? The answer is no. That is the job of the ride designer, builder, owner...etc, to determine how far to push the body. Disney of course says the ride is working great, and it may well be, but 2 deaths in 2 years is too many, and it's a little convenient to wrap up the deaths in a nice neat package without any real consideration that the ride itself just may have been the cause. Perhaps they need to reexamine their boarding policies, and the ride experience itself. They at least owe that to the millions who come through the gates.
No doubt in my mind, riders should be aware of the forces of a ride or attraction. According to news stories, many warning signs were posted.
After reading several comments, I have to point back to Robert Niles' comment on the fact that a great many people (actually, I personally think about 80%) have no idea of any medical condition they may have because they don't go to the doctor looking for one.
Right on, Mark.
Yes, people need to be more aware of their physical condition and personal/family history of any possible hereditary or congenital conditions. People need to get away from the, "It will never happen to me," state of mind and always consider the possibilities to avoid future mishaps that bring discredit on institutions like the Walt Disney Company.
Turns out that the lady who passed away died of bleeding on the brain according to the local medical examiners. Of course no connection has been drawn between her death and the ride, but lets use a little common sense....she got off the ride, immediately complained of nausea and headaches, was hospitalized, and then gone. If she had a preexisting condition, it was touched off by the ride. It's been reported by Disney officials that she may have suffered from high blood pressure before riding. Obviously that could have been so, given the cause of death.
I think if the warnings are to be most effective, they need to go beyond the preshow area and become part of the marketing for the attraction. Perhaps a tag line like "This ride is only for people taller than 44 inches, in good physical condition. People with high blood pressure or heart conditions should not ride" at the end of every radio or TV spot for the ride and on all printed material.
Aside from Robert's suggestion about adding warnings to the marketing, I'm not sure how much else Disney can do to warn riders. There is already more warning signage at this attraction than any other I've experienced anywhere. At some point it has to become each person's personal responsibility to heed the warnings.
I am a theme park enthusiast and I love thrill rides. I read about the 4-year-old boy death and did not want my son (5)to go just in case he had something I don't know about. When we got in front of the ride, he really, really want to go and my wife (who did not know about the death)let him ride because we came from so far (Canada). What a big mistake! not only did he felt dizzy, I did and my wife also did for the whole day.
Sophal: I have been on the ride three or four times within an hour. Yes, you can come off the ride a little dizzy, but if you follow the directions offered you and look forward while the ride is operating you will be fine. I have seen people ranging in age from 8 to 80 on this ride and they all made it through just fine. I think you are being a bit dramatic and generalizing the experience based on your own.
It's a shame that Disney are getting the blame for this, when i don't really think it was connected. I think the ride will probably be closed, though, as obviously lots of guests will now be scared to go on it. It's a real shame, though.
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