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Space Mountain ride at Disneyland reopens after safety work

May 03, 2013|By Hugo Martin | This post has been updated, as indicated below.

After a three-week closure to complete safety work, the popular Space Mountain attraction at Disneyland  in Anaheim reopened Friday evening.

Disneyland voluntarily closed the 36-year-old ride April 13 after state regulators investigating the injury of a contract worker found violations related to safety procedures and equipment for maintenance staff.

Disney officials said earlier Friday that they could not give an exact date for the reopening of the ride but hope to have it operating over the weekend. The Disneyland website that shows ride closures at the park had listed Space Mountain as closed Saturday and Sunday.

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The problems with Space Mountain began in November when a 37-year-old contract worker cleaning the roof fell and was injured when his harness malfunctioned. He slid about 20 feet before coming to a halt on the lip of the large, ridged roof. A month earlier, a machinist was critically injured when he was hit by a speeding vehicle during ride tests before the park opened.

After the latest inspections, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health issued fines totaling $234,850 for six violations related to the maintenance of fire extinguishers and safety barriers and anchors for exterior cleaners and other workers on Space Mountain.

The state agency has not decided if follow-up inspections are needed, according to a spokesman for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

Disney officials closed Space Mountain last month, along with the Matterhorn Bobsled ride at Disneyland and Soarin' Over California at Disney California Adventure, to review safety protocol. The Matterhorn and Soarin' Over California rides have since been reopened.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad has been closed since January as part of a scheduled overhaul, unrelated to the state citations.

[Updated at 7:40 p.m. May 3 after Disneyland officials said that Space Mountain had reopened.]

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