Disney Monorail is NTSB's First Inquiry of Private-Property Accident


#1

Just because they were a few questions about this.

[B]The Disney company is fully cooperating with the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation of the July 5 fatal accident on the Walt Disney World monorail system.[/B]

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the July 5 crash on the Walt Disney World monorail system that killed a train operator, with Investigator Ted Turpin from the NTSB Office of Railroad, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Investigations sent to the scene in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. NTSB Public Affairs Officer Peter Knudson confirmed today that this is the first time NTSB has investigated an accident involving a private transit system that operates on private property.

Asked whether the Disney company had to grant permission to enter the site, Knudson replied by e-mail, “Our investigation of this accident was never an issue with Disney. They have been fully cooperative with us. We were in touch with them on the day of the accident, Sunday, and when we told them on Monday that we were going to investigate, they welcomed our participation.”

No passengers were seriously injured in the crash, which happened around 2 a.m. as one of the trains was being moved to a maintenance area. Florida newspapers today reported that the switching operation to move that train was not completed as it should have been and may have involved an override of a safety system that would have detected the other train. One newspaper reported one of the trains was moving in reverse on its track at the time of the collision.

Link: Disney Monorail is NTSB’s First Inquiry of Private-Property Accident – Occupational Health & Safety


#2

I’m happy to hear this. I’m glad the NTSB is involved and I’m glad Disney has been fully cooperative with them.


#3

Honestly, I would have been VERY surprised if they didn’t. Now a days with the internet and how news travels there is NO WAY they could keep this to themselves. And they are smart not too.

Everywhere you read it states "In the 38 year history of the monorail, this is the first . . . " the facts are there . . . the WHY is what they have to figure out.


#4

Good. This makes me feel better.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t even understand WHY there is a manual override for something as important as a safety system that detects other monorails? I don’t care if you’re just taking the monorails to be refurbished and there are several in a small vicinity…there should at least be a system of WARNING in effect at all times. Maybe there was. Maybe the only system that was overridden (is that a word? :laugh:) was one that prevents operation when they’re within a certain distance of each other. I dunno, maybe I’m misunderstanding. It just seems so strange and irresponsible to me that something like that has an override feature. Coming from Disney, anyway, whose first “Key” is SAFETY!


#5

This was a good development for this case. As SG has said in another thread, NTSB is the primary agency for transportation incidents, not OSHA, who deal with worker safety in workplace settings generally. NTSB is THE final word in transportation forensics. Good for WDW.


#6

Great, glad to hear the NTSB is involved & Disney is fully cooperational.


#7

I would like to know what actually happened. I’ve read so many variations of what caused the wreck online. I hope they get to the bottom of this.


#8

Me too! I read an account where an off duty EMT was walking under the tracks when the accident happen. He said it sounded like a HUGE BEER CAN being crushed.

What are the Monorails made from? Fiberglass?


#9

Here is the new NTSB factual information report on the monorail incident:

It was a pdf, so I cut and pasted it here:


NTSB ADVISORY


National Transportation Safety Board
Washington, DC 20594
July 8, 2009


NTSB RELEASES FACTUAL INFORMATION ON ITS INVESTIGATION OF
THE MONORAIL COLLISION AT WALT DISNEY WORLD


The National Transportation Safety Board has developed the
following factual information from its investigation of the
collision of two trains on the monorail system at Walt
Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, that occurred
early Sunday morning:
At about 2 a.m. on July 5th, a Walt Disney World monorail
train, designated the Pink train, backed into another
monorail train, designated the Purple train, near the Ticket
and Transportation Center (TTC) monorail station. The
operator of the Purple train was fatally injured; the six
passengers on that train were treated at the scene. The
operator of the Pink train, who was transported to the
hospital, treated and released, was the only one aboard that
train at the time of the collision.
Prior to the accident, the Pink train had been instructed to
detrain all passengers at the TTC station and then to
operate without passengers past the station and a switch to
a point where the train could be backed through the track
switch from the Epcot loop over to the Magic Kingdom loop.
The operator of the Pink train moved the train past the
track switch and stopped.
The Pink train was then instructed to back through the track
switch, towards the Magic Kingdom loop. At about the same
time, the Purple train, which was inbound to the TTC
station, was instructed to stop at the station to detrain
passengers. For undetermined reasons that are currently
under investigaton, the switch had not changed position
needed to allow the Pink train to be routed to the Magic
Kingdom loop, which resulted in the Pink train backing down
the same track it had just come from, putting it on a
collision course with the Purple train. The Pink train
passed through the TTC station and struck the Purple train
while it was outside the station.

There are indications that the operator of the Purple train
had brought the train to a stop and had attempted to put the
train in reverse prior to the collision. To this point in
the investigation, no anomalies or malfunctions have been
found with the automatic train stop system or with any
mechanical components of the switch or with either of the
trains.
The on-scene phase of the investigation is expected to
continue for several days.
The parties to the investigation are Walt Disney World, the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Orange
County Sherriff’s Office, and the Transportation and
Communications International Union.

LINK: PDF Documents From WFTV Eyewitness News Orlando


#10

Yikes. This is just so saddening to me, the more I read about it. I can’t get over the fact that it happened so fast and cost Austin his life.


#11

The fact that there is evidence that purple tried to reverse makes me even sadder. That is an indication that Austin saw the pink coming at him, and he tried to get out of the way. So, so sad.


#12

That’s exactly what got me about it! Just so awful. :crying:


#13

This is so sad. Poor Austin


#14

I put this in the other monorail thread but I thought I would post t here as well.

2 Employees Suspended In Wake Of Disney Crash - Orlando News Story - WESH Orlando

Walt Disney World has taken disciplinary action against two employees believed to be involved in coordinating monorail switching at the time of Sunday’s fatal crash, according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation.


#15

Actually, NTSB investigates private property crashes all of the time. Airlines (which are pirvate companies), corporate and private plane accidents are all subjected to NTSB investigations. Pretty much anything where the public is transported falls under NTSB umbrella.

It’s a smart move for Disney, even if they invited the NTSB in.


#16

[QUOTE=DisneyTeacher;975391]I put this in the other monorail thread but I thought I would post t here as well.

2 Employees Suspended In Wake Of Disney Crash - Orlando News Story - WESH Orlando

Walt Disney World has taken disciplinary action against two employees believed to be involved in coordinating monorail switching at the time of Sunday’s fatal crash, according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation.[/QUOTE]

The story has been updated at 5 PM Eastern to indicate that three CMs have now been suspended.
I am very pleased that NTSB will be taking a lead roll in the investigation, as I’m sure you can all guess from my previous posts.
The official info released by NTSB so far is in sync with the discussion that’s been ongoing at Mice Chat since Sunday, with one exception, the conclusion that the collision occurred south of the TTC station over the plaza between the ticket booths and the station and not in the station itself.
My only new comment would be, “what was going through Pink’s pilot’s mind when he clearly saw he was on the wrong beam going through the station?”
Also, why weren’t people screaming on the radio and on the platform to STOP!?

By the way, one of the three CMs suspended IS a monorail pilot, and I’m guessing it is Pink’s pilot.


#17

In a related story:

Memorial For Monorail Pilot Draws 350 - Orlando News Story - WESH Orlando

I also wouldn’t be surprised if I was told that Austin was drivng one of the trains I rode last month. His face does look familiar and I can picture him in the official monorail uniform.


#18

[QUOTE=Soundgod;975445]
My only new comment would be, “what was going through Pink’s pilot’s mind when he clearly saw he was on the wrong beam going through the station?”
Also, why weren’t people screaming on the radio and on the platform to STOP!?

By the way, one of the three CMs suspended IS a monorail pilot, and I’m guessing it is Pink’s pilot.[/QUOTE]

Also Soundgod, I could be wrong but I SWARE the monorails have horns right? Aren’t like like a deep honking noise? I wonder if Austin was also blowing the horn?

PS: I LOVE your avatar! :happy:


#19

They do have air horns, but I have to wonder how loud that horn would sound to someone in a partially insulated cockpit when there’s a 6 car train between you and the horn.
I still think that upon seeing he was on the wrong platform in the station, he should have stopped, but I wasn’t driving and I wasn’t there, so I can’t know or say.

I just HAD to go for Dug as a new avatar.


#20

[QUOTE=DisneyTeacher;975391]I put this in the other monorail thread but I thought I would post t here as well.

2 Employees Suspended In Wake Of Disney Crash - Orlando News Story - WESH Orlando

Walt Disney World has taken disciplinary action against two employees believed to be involved in coordinating monorail switching at the time of Sunday’s fatal crash, according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation.[/QUOTE]

FYI - They’ve changed the article to say this was not disciplinary action.