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2 fall from Disneyland tramcar

The women suffer head injuries during their shuttle ride in the parking lot.

February 25, 2007|Ashley Powers | Times Staff Writer

Two women suffered head injuries late Friday after tumbling off a tram in a Disneyland parking lot, an incident the state has no authority to investigate because the shuttle is not an amusement park ride, Anaheim officials said.

Authorities were called to Disneyland's Timon parking lot about 10:20 p.m. after a woman standing on the tram toppled off as it turned. She suffered minor injuries to her head and feet, which the tram wheels might have run over, said Maria Sabol, spokeswoman for the Anaheim Fire Department. Another woman reached for her and fell too, suffering more serious head injuries, Sabol said.

Both were taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, from which one has been discharged, Disneyland Resort spokesman Bob Tucker said Saturday. He did not specify which one.

Authorities did not release the women's names and ages or the specifics regarding their injuries.

Disney officials shut down the tram, one of many that cart visitors between the parking lot and the park at about 10 mph. It appeared to be working normally, however, and was back in operation Saturday, Tucker said.

Because trams are not considered amusement park rides, the accident falls outside the state Department of Occupational Safety and Health's purview, said the agency's acting chief, Len Welsh. That's why Disney did not report the accident to the state, Tucker said.

Only in recent years have amusement parks been required to report accidents. A law that took effect in 2000 mandating such reporting was prompted, in part, by a 1998 incident at Disneyland in which a tourist was fatally struck by a loose metal cleat on the Columbia sailing ship. In that case, Disney officials delayed Anaheim police for 90 minutes while workers cleaned up the scene.

The park has become more responsive since then, safety officials have said, particularly after a July 2005 roller coaster crash at California Adventure in which 25 passengers were treated for minor injuries.

The state asked Disney to reevaluate the brake valves at all of its parks, because a leaky valve had caused the crash on California Screamin'. Disney went beyond what was required, however, by alerting the entire amusement park industry to possible brake problems.

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ashley.powers@latimes.com

Times staff writers David Haldane and Dave McKibben contributed to this report.

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