The driver of a Walt Disney World monorail was killed when two monorails collided early Sunday.
Witnesses said the monorails collided at the Epcot station around 2 a.m. Sunday as guests were leaving the park after a Fourth of July fireworks show.
According to witnesses, one monorail just slammed into the back of the other. The monorails involved were the pink and purple trains, according to Local 6 in Orlando; pink was moving and hit purple, which was stationary.
Fire officials said the driver was pronounced dead on the the scene, and the other driver had been taken to the hospital. There was no immediate explanation as to what caused the wreck. There has been no word of any other injuries, or how many people were aboard the monorails at the time of the wreck but witnesses suggested that several guests may have been treated for minor injuries.
Disney made the following statement
"Today, we mourn the loss of our fellow cast member. Our hearts go out to his family and those who have lost a friend and coworker. The safety of our guests and cast members is always our top priority. The monorail is out of service and we will continue to work closely with law enforcement to determine what happened and the appropriate next steps to take."
Although this was the first fatal monoratil accident in its history, there have been other incidents:
A monorail train crashed into the train ahead of it, injuring a driver and two guests.
June 26, 1985
A fire engulfed the rear car of a monorail train in transit from Epcot to the Transportation and Ticket Center. The train was carrying 240 passengers, 40 of whom were in the burning car.
Passengers in the car kicked out side windows and climbed around the side of the train to reach the roof, where they were subsequently rescued by the Reedy Creek Fire Department.
Seven passengers were hospitalized for smoke inhalation or other minor injuries.
Aug. 30, 1991
A monorail train collided with a diesel maintenance work tractor near Disney's Contemporary Resort as the tractor drove closely in front of the train to film it for a commercial. Two cast members were treated at a hospital for injuries.
Aug. 12, 1996
An electrical fire broke out on a train pulling into the Magic Kingdom station. The driver and the five passengers onboard exited safely.
More information about the Walt Disney World Monorail system may be found here :
Walt Disney World Monorail System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Safe train spacing is maintained via a moving blocklight system, referred to as MAPO, installed in the cab of each train. MAPO appears in the top center of the pilot's console and looks similar to a horizontal stop light. There are three lights—green, amber, and red—and a push-button labeled "Override". The term "MAPO" itself comes directly from Walt Disney, who formed a new company to deal with Disneyland's transportation system directly from the profits made by Mary Poppins."
"It is the pilot's responsibility to avoid a red MAPO during normal operation. When the MAPO switches from green to amber, this indicates that the monorail is approaching the train ahead. The pilot must stop the train before crossing into the next block of beam way and hence before the MAPO switches to red. Should a pilot cross the hold point and receive a red MAPO, this counts as a safety demerit against the pilot. If the pilot ever has three demerits on their record, then they will be transferred out of the monorails department and into a different role at Walt Disney World"
Photo from local 6 news