Boy Dies After Disney Ride
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) - A 4-year-old boy died after passing out aboard Walt Disney World's "Mission: Space," a ride so intense that it has motion sickness bags and several riders have been treated for chest pain.
Daudi Bamuwamye passed out Monday afternoon on the attraction, which simulates a rocket launch and trip to Mars. The Orange County Sheriff's Office said his mother carried him off the ride and employees helped her place him on a bench.
Paramedics tried to revive him, but he died at Celebration Hospital.
The sheriff's office said the boy did meet the minimum 44-inch height requirement for the ride at the Epcot theme park, which uses centrifugal force to simulate twice the normal force of gravity.
An autopsy was expected Tuesday to determine the cause of the boy's death.
Officials said the boy from Sellersville, Pa., was on the ride with his mother, Agnes, and a sister.
The $100 million ride, one of Disney World's most popular, was closed after the death but was reopened Tuesday after company engineers concluded that it was operating normally.
In 2003, Disney began placing motion sickness bags in the ride.
During an eight-month period in 2003-04, six people over age 55 were taken to hospitals for treatment of chest pain and nausea after riding "Mission: Space," though none of them was found to have any serious problem.
At that time, it was the most hospital visits for a single ride since Florida's major theme parks agreed in 2001 to report such problems to the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Updated figures were not immediately available.
One other death was reported at Disney World this year. A 77-year-old woman who was in poor health from diabetes and several ministrokes died in February after going on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at the Magic Kingdom. A medical examiner's report said her death "was not unexpected."
Signs warn visitors about the intensity of the "Mission: Space" ride.
"For safety you should be in good health, and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness or other conditions that can be aggravated by this adventure," one sign on view last year said. Signs also warn pregnant women not to go on the ride.
Florida's major parks are not directly regulated by the Department of Agriculture; state law exempts large, permanent amusement parks that have their own inspectors from state oversight. But the parks agreed to share safety information in 2001.
Disney officials said in a statement after the boy's death that they were "providing support to the family and are doing everything we can to help them during this difficult time."