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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Disneyland Ride Closed for Inquiry Into Accident

August 03, 2000

ANAHEIM — Disneyland's Space Mountain roller coaster is expected to be closed a day or two longer as state investigators arrive today to find out what led to the malfunction that caused minor injuries to nine people earlier this week.

Ray Gomez, a Disneyland spokesman, said amusement park officials "have an idea" of what caused the accident, but he would not provide the information until the investigation is complete.

Dean Fryer, a spokesman for Cal/OSHA, said the agency's investigation could last two months, depending how long it takes to interview passengers and ride operators.

There is no state requirement that Disneyland shut the ride down. The trigger for a Cal/OSHA investigation is usually a serious injury, Fryer said. Although the worst injury in this case was multiple bruises to a German tourist, the state agency decided to investigate because of the number of people hurt, Fryer said.

Disneyland reported the Monday night accident to Cal/OSHA, as required under a new state law regulating the industry.

Gomez said the accident was caused when a support arm underneath a car came undone, forcing the ride to stop suddenly. He said the 23-year-old ride shuts down automatically when there is a problem.

The Fire Department said the accident was caused when a wheel came apart or was dislodged from the track. The wheel derailed and the car stopped.

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