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Universal rung up for $3K+ over Dueling Dragons collision

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Published: November 23, 2009 at 4:16 PM

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration levied a piddling fine on Universal Orlando today for a "serious" safety violation that resulted in the injury of a park employee last July.

The worker was struck by a roller coaster train on the Dueling Dragons rideat Universal's Islands of Adventure when conducting a routine inspection before the park opened for the day. Coaster trains come within a few feet from the ground in those areas, making walking through them unsafe while the coaster is in operation.

The agency ordered Universal to install additional fencing around any area under the tracks where coaster trains come within seven feet of the ground. The fences must be in place by Dec. 24. The ride is currently soon to go [corrected - see comments] down for rehab and retheming and will reopen in the spring as the Dragon Challenge in the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter land.

Universal will pay just $3,750 for the violation, which sent the worker to the hospital. Universal negotiated the fine down from the agency's proposed $5,000. Hmmm... neither my wife nor I have ever been able to get a government agency to negotiate fines for traffic or parking tickets before. Funny how that works, isn't it?

I haven't heard what happened to the employee, either, and would appreciate any tips from Universal insiders who care to comment or e-mail. Obviously, we hope that there was a full recovery, but we would like to know, regardless.

Readers' Opinions

From 70.119.142.87 on November 23, 2009 at 7:34 PM
The ride is still open, Universal has not announced when or if the ride will be closing for a rehab.
From Brian Emery on November 24, 2009 at 7:04 AM
Such a small fine.... Usually fines are enforced to teach a person or company a lesson or as a deterrent, but $3,750 – big deal…… I just hope the injured has recovered…. And I will also assume the injured party might sue Universal also….
From Will Chilcote on November 24, 2009 at 2:04 PM
Universal has announced a opening day for Harry Potter either spring or summer of 2010. The commercial just started airing on US tv a couple of days ago. It was probably a test they were running for the Dueling Dragons re-theming.

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