Disney Death Still A Mystery
It may take weeks before Florida medical examiners are able to determine the cause of death of a four-year-old boy who collapsed Monday aboard the “Mission: Space” ride at Disney’s Epcot Center.
All Jim Solomons of the Orange County Sheriff’s office could say was that four-year-old Daudi Bamuwamye of Sellersville, PA “showed no signs of trauma and no obvious medical issues.”
This leaves Orlando medical examiner spokeswoman Sheri Blanton with the question, “‘If it wasn’t trauma, what did it?'”
Seven of the 8.6 million riders thus far of “Mission: Space” have come off the $100 million ride complaining of nausea or chest pain, six of whom were over 55. Daudi is the first ride-related fatality, and the youngest to suffer any type of incident.
The space ride simulates a space mission from blast off to orbit, offering thrill-seekers “sensations similar to what astronauts feel.” The ride is intense enough that there is a sign warning those waiting in line not ride if they have heart trouble, recurrent motion sickness, and other conditions.
Little Daudi, who according to examiners seemed perfectly healthy, met the 44-inch height requirement and boarded with his mother, Agnes. Agnes said she notice that his body was rigid and his legs were stretched out in front of him, but thought he was just frightened. When the ride was over, Daudi was limp and unresponsive. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.
Agnes carried him off the ride and Daudi was shortly taken to a hospital near the theme park where he was pronounced dead.
Further tests are required to determine the mysterious cause of death.
The ride was closed after the death to investigate the ride’s configurations. After engineers found no problem with the attraction, “Mission: Space” reopened on Tuesday unchanged.
“We believe the ride is safe in its current configuration,” Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Polak said.
Though Disney World is exempt from Florida state ride inspections because of the number of employees and the full-time safety program, the park is required to file a yearly affidavit proclaiming their attractions to be safe.