Universal Orlando worker injured, hit by Dueling Dragons

Posted Thursday, July 2, 2009 9:47 AM | Contributed by SteveWoA

A Universal Orlando Islands of Adventure park employee was seriously injured after being struck in the head by a ride car as the Dueling Dragons ride was going through its daily morning checks. It's unclear if the worker was a regular on the Dueling Dragons maintenance crew.

Read more from WTFV/Orlando.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009 11:08 AM

So... should we just copy/paste all comments from the SFOG B:TR death last year? Or do we strike up the band and play it again, Sam?

Although it would appear this worker is severly injured, not DOA. Also, this time it wasn't Six Flags, so the SF haters will have to find something else to say.

Last edited by Soggy, Thursday, July 2, 2009 11:10 AM
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Thursday, July 2, 2009 12:05 PM

I'm sorry, but what you just said sounded incredibly insensitive.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009 12:20 PM

^Agreed. There is a difference between a kid jumping over a fence and an accident like this.

Scary stuff espically when you know people who work there. Reminds you why parks get crazy about safety.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009 12:24 PM

That's my point, there are always 2 camps butting heads whenever this happens. (and it happens almost every year) So...

There's the "If you're dumb enough to be there when the coaster is running, you get what you deserve" group versus the "My heart and prayers go out to the loved ones of this unfortunate victim" people. I'm the former, you're the latter, so I'll assume you're up for "Play it again, Sam?"

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Thursday, July 2, 2009 12:41 PM

Again I just think to assume the guy did something wrong and got what he had coming is pretty low. While I'll admit anything is just speculation who's not to say he was in the right spot
and someone else did something to cause the accident or such.

I worked in attractions elsewhere and being a tech isn't the easiest job and a bunch of things could easily go wrong.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009 1:42 PM

Soggy said:
So... should we just copy/paste all comments from the SFOG B:TR death last year? Or do we strike up the band and play it again, Sam?

Although it would appear this worker is severly injured, not DOA. Also, this time it wasn't Six Flags, so the SF haters will have to find something else to say.

I don't know, I think there still could be solid argument that this is somehow the fault of SF.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009 1:50 PM

I still can't figure out how you don't hear the ride coming...

Has this ever happened iwth an SLC? Every accident I can remember has been with a B&M.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009 2:30 PM

Ah, but even if one were to hear the ride vehicle approaching there still has to time to move out of it's way. Assuming this employees was on the ground when he was hit that would me the train was at a low point in the ride's track layout, and low points are generally where the train is moving at it's fastest. If he was facing away from the direction of travel and/or kneeling or crouching he would need more time to make a maneouver to get out of the way.

Then you have to consider than many B&Ms, including Dueling Dragons, have had sound-dampening efforts applied. Given that this happened before the park opened there would be no rider's screams to be heard. Anyone who's stood near a B&M running empty trains on a ride that's been sound-dampened knows there is barely any noise made.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009 3:01 PM

There is a difference between a kid jumping over a fence and an accident like this.

That's right. Anytime an employee is in a low zone with the ride in motion, someone has seriously screwed up---either the employee entered the zone without setting a lockout/tagout, or someone removed a tag that they didn't place. In particular, unlike a kid jumping a fence, this one might not be the victim's fault.

Though, I'd wager that the chances a tag was bypassed are probably lower than the chances someone entered a low zone that they had no business in.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009 3:34 PM

I am sorry someone got hurt.My prayers are with/for this employee and his family

I just wonder if the fence/fences were down because of the harry potter construction .Since the area is blocked off to the general public.We do not know if this was a DD maint or ride staff or just an employee taking a bad shortcut.As far as hearing it coming we do not know where in the ride cycle it happened this may have been the first train of the day and this maybe a deer in the headlights situation where they just froze .

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Thursday, July 2, 2009 4:30 PM

Removing a fence around a low zone? I seriously doubt that. If that's what happened, Universal may as well write the Really Big Check right now.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009 6:04 PM

Brian Noble said:
That's right. Anytime an employee is in a low zone with the ride in motion, someone has seriously screwed up---either the employee entered the zone without setting a lockout/tagout, or someone removed a tag that they didn't place. In particular, unlike a kid jumping a fence, this one might not be the victim's fault.

But it doesn't take being in a low zone to be hit. In the attraction I worked which was a large scale coaster (not in Universal or even at a FL park for that matter) to get to the maintenance area it required stepping across the track which employees routinely did to go bring on another train. It is not a lock-out area but you can still get hit and I remember quite a couple scary close calls of someone slipping into the track and someone else starting to transfer the train on. Maybe not the safety procedure but I've seen many parks have similar setups or where the train cruises through a maintenance shed and maintenance guys are standing off to the side one slip away from landing in the track.

While yes it could have been a stupid error by the employee but it just have easily could have been a mistake made by his coworker or such and thats why I think throwing this in the pile with the SFoG-boy-jumps-fence story without the facts is pretty lame.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009 7:39 PM

I am sorry about the worker getting hit by the coaster but not for the kid who deliberately jumped two fences to get into the park faster. The kid last year deserved to get the darwin award for stupidity. You can be in both camps on this one since the incident last year was caused by idiotic actions by a kid. This recent incident was purely accidental.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009 11:04 PM

How do you know, Majorcut? Do you have some inside info? I've been searching the articles to find out what happened. It very well could have been stupidity on the employees part. We have no idea what he did in order to get hurt.

I've seen a lot of park employees do really stupid things.

Until we know for sure, I have no reason to comment on the individual, except to say that I hope he's okay in the end, stupid or not.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009 11:22 PM

This gives a bit more information:

http://www.wftv.com/news/19930253/detail.html

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Friday, July 3, 2009 12:02 AM

So yeah... wow. I'll admit it I was wrong (but still I think jumping to conclusions and calling the guy stupid without facts is yeah...)... it does look like stupidity on the employee if that video is indeed true. It looks like he entered a low-zone. Whether or not you believe the guy who they interviewed the aerial shot of the people on the ground is at the base of the cobra roll where the train comes pretty darn close to the ground. Amazing he is still alive.

Last edited by Andrew, Friday, July 3, 2009 12:03 AM
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Friday, July 3, 2009 1:32 AM

Thanks for the link, ridemcoaster. The news station insinuated that the guy who used to work at the park and "didn't want to be identified" is all knowing, yet he probably has as much info on what really happened as we do. he was just guessing...

I give that news report a 2 out of 5. At least it's new info, even if some of it is speculation.


edit - -spelling :)

Last edited by LostKause, Friday, July 3, 2009 11:03 PM
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Friday, July 3, 2009 2:41 AM

"It's a point in the high-speed ride where anything in your pocket might be ripped out and thrown to the ground," the former tech said. "Cell phones, iPods, anything you can think of."

I'm so thankful for on location reporters like this guy who illustrated the above quote by pulling a cell phone and keys out of his pocket and throwing them to the ground. I wouldn't have understood what he was saying otherwise, simpleton that I am.

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Friday, July 3, 2009 2:42 AM

^^Thinking it might be more than speculation. Employees have relationships with other employees. If he knew which coaster it was (from another worker who was there), there may be only the one area where the trackage is low enough to the ground where an empty train has such a low clearance. As inverts, the cars do sit a little higher for feet-dangling. And Moosh makes a really good point about the noise thing...on an empty night at Dorney in Talon's library, err, queue, it's really quite quiet.

Last edited by rollergator, Friday, July 3, 2009 2:44 AM
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