Employee injury closes Dueling Dragons at Universal Orlando
A worker was injured at the Dueling Dragons roller coasters at Universal's Islands of Adventure
before the park opened this morning. One report said the worker was struck
by one of the cars, presumably on a morning test run.
The area around Dueling Dragons is a swarm of activity these days, as construction proceeds on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Dragons coasters are rumored to close this fall to be rethemed as part of the new Harry Potter land.
If any Universal insiders have additional details, please post them in the comments.
Update: The Sentinel updates with quotes from Universal spokesperson Tom Schroder: "It's too soon to share more information," Schroder told the paper. "We're doing everything we can to support our team member and his family."
"Our ride is safe," Schroder said in the story. "What happened this morning had nothing to do with the safety of the ride experience."
Reading between the lines, Schroder's quotes jibe with the earlier report that the employee was struck by a car. No malfunction of the ride, just a person in a place where s/he should not have been.
As a former Lead Technician at Dueling Dragons, I knew this man who was hit by the 20,000 pound roller coaster while doing a “routine” inspection of the foundations. These are the concrete anchors that hold the structure into the earth. The 911 call said he was “unresponsive” at the time. If he was hit full-frontal by the train, he was launched many feet and probably died. No crumple zones on coasters! The 911 operator mentions that he was hit in the head, so hopefully he was nicked by a fiberglass or rubber tooth or claw that protrude from the bottom of the coaster. The reason there is so much media “hype” at the major theme parks, is that they are not required by law to release ANY info about injuries or deaths that occur on property, so the media feel lucky to get whatever they can. Their squeaky clean safety records are a sham. The maintenance techs, who work at night, are not even subjected to a pre-employment drug screening before hiring. Several employees have recently been fired for using drugs ON the job!
Also, Frank... the news article I read said you met up with a man in order to fight with him, then shot at him during the fight. I'm not saying it wasn't self-defense, but it doesn't strike me as responsible conduct, either.
It's called being a coward. Really, you brought a gun to a fight? Sorry but thats not self defense.
I love how you believe the story about Frank that you read on the internet (since everything on the internet is true). This guy was recently terminated from Universal yet he still vouches for the safety of their rides and asks to keep the technician in your prayers. If you have something to comment regarding that then please share but this is not a Frank bashing post. Neither Walt Disney World or Universal does any kind of drug screening simply for the fact that their combined employee turnover rate is probably one of the highest in the world, so I don't doubt his statement about the overnight guys. Since everyone else is being a Debbie Downer let me just say that I appreciate the info Frank. I heard this from a Universal manager that has been with the company for seven years and still had a limited story. Universal is trying to keep the details of this incident as hush-hush as possible.
Not that anonymous then Frank
CDF is a nice restaurant, but it isn't even the best restaurant in the World Showcase. That honor belongs to Le Cellier. Still, CDF must have some fans, and I guess they all joined the voting this year.
The only thing I really have to add without getting into this too much is that Drug Screening is expensive, but I think it should be necessary for certain positions where Guest safety could be compromised. Maintenance, ride operators, etc. Not so much food service, retail, or even costumed characters. If anything, they'll hurt themselves more than Guests. Costumed characters are actually more of a toss up for me.
Lock-outs, loud buzzers, PA announcements, and someone still was in the danger zone when the coaster was started? 0-o! Sounds like major safety procedures were being ignored. If they ignore the majors, how many minors are going ignored as well...?
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