Tragedy at WDW - OT


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Disney Worker Crushed by Float at Magic Kingdom

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

ORLANDO, Fla. ? A Walt Disney World (search) employee was accidentally killed by a parade float Tuesday in the Magic Kingdom area of the theme park.

The float struck a male costumed worker in the head and ran him over during the daily afternoon Magic Kingdom (search ) parade about 3:30 p.m. EST, WOFL-TV (search) in Orlando reported. The man died.

"A performer was struck and fatally injured by the float," said Jim Solomons, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

The worker's identity was not announced by Disney officials. But an official who requested anonymity described the worker as a 38-year-old man who had worked at the park for eight years.

Disney spokeswoman Rena Callahan said the worker was toward the end of the parade and was about to enter the park when the float struck him. Callahan said she wasn't sure if any visitors witnessed what happened.

The accident occurred in a backstage area, near the Splash Mountain ride.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office (search) was investigating, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration also was sending an investigator.

The last time a worker died at Walt Disney World was in 1999 when a part-time employee who had been working in the loading area of the Magic Kingdom Skyway fell to his death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.