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

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.

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.

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