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Topic: Disney: BTM Death due to incorrect maintenance, CA safety officials blame Disney workers< Next Oldest | Next Newest >

CarolKoster Offline

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Posted: Sep. 12, 2003 1:03 am/pm Quote

Does anyone remember the presidency of Richard Nixon and his vice-president, Spiro Agnew?  If you do you'll remember Agnew offering a pithy comment about the news media criticism of the Nixon administration "nattering nabobs of negativism."

I wouldn't call him "nattering" because Al Lutz is obviously intelligent, articulate, sees himself as a Disney observer and critic and "watch dog" over the park that Walt Disney himself founded and oversaw.  However, sometimes you can read Al's writings and wonder about his motives, attitudes and sanity, and whether his sources are using him or how true and accurate those sources are.  Although it seems like the park has been having problems in the last decade with upkeep and attraction quality, good things happen there too.  Sometimes when you read Al you wonder if he sees the good with the bad ever.  Whether you agree or not with Al's writings and observations, Al is highly readable and visible as a Disneyland critic.  What he writes is guaranteed to keep your blood circulating and feed negative opinions about Disney if you have any.  How much of it is true or conjecture or mistakenly drawing conclusions or ax-grinding by his sources is unknown.  Sometimes people post how off-base and untrue Al is.  Just read him with a grain of salt and responsible "There may be more to the story than this" attitude and you'll be just fine.

Anyway, Al's latest WWW site for his Disney and Disneyland observations is Mice Age

http://www.miceage.com

Current column today about last week's Big Thunder Mountain accident at Disneyland is alleging that document shredding is going on behind-the-scenes.  Al is a big critic of the current administration at Disneyland and the administration of Paul Pressler who used to be DL President and left Disney to be CEO of The Gap.  The investigation by authorities is ongoing.  I just hope what Al alleges isn't going on and that Disney is being fully and legally cooperative with investigators.  But Al makes a very serious allegation here, and Al himself treads on thin ice with the investigation still in progress.  Still a situation playing itself out and even the observers are getting into the fray.  We'll see.


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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Sep. 12, 2003 7:58 am/pm Quote

Disneyland accident victim remembered fondly at funeral

Quick quote:

Friends and family gathered Friday to remember 22-year-old Marcello Torres, who was killed Sept. 5 in an accident on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster at Disneyland. More than 100 people heard a service conducted mostly in Spanish for the man known to his friends as "Chelo."

Mourners entering the church passed by a collage of photos showing Torres as a boy and as an adult, wearing a graduation cap and gown, skiing, sitting at the beach and posing on amusement park rides.

Osvaldo Torres said family members were still struggling to understand the death and are coping "by dealing with what's at hand - grieving and thinking of him in a positive way."

Autopsy results said Torres bled to death after being struck in the chest by a blunt object. The impact fractured several ribs, which punctured his lungs.

Torres was riding the roller coaster when the lead car, shaped to resemble a locomotive, became detached from the passenger cars in a tunnel. State and local officials are still investigating the accident. The ride could remain closed from six months to a year, officials have said.

The Torres family has hired an attorney to represent them, although no lawsuit has yet been filed.

Full details.


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Posted: Sep. 12, 2003 8:00 am/pm Quote

I've heard that the lawyer hired is the same one which sued Disney after DL's Columbia dock cleat accident.

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Posted: Sep. 18, 2003 6:11 am/pm Quote

Disneyland Roller Coaster Injuries Revealed by State

Two dozen people have reported injuries on Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad but follow-up state investigations and ride inspections did not reveal any safety problems.

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bishopsnet Offline

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Posted: Sep. 27, 2003 12:29 am/pm Quote

What happened to all the news coverage of the investigation? Its been about three weeks and no news of what happened? I find it hard to believe the investigators are still stumped on this. Maybe I'm overreacting, but something smells. Its like it never happened! Does anyone have any input on what caused the accident? So far all I know is that the train derailed in a tunnel.  :glare:

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CarolKoster Offline

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Posted: Sep. 27, 2003 10:18 am/pm Quote

Quote (bishopsnet @ Sep. 27, 2003 12:29 am/pm)
What happened to all the news coverage of the investigation? Its been about three weeks and no news of what happened? I find it hard to believe the investigators are still stumped on this. Maybe I'm overreacting, but something smells. Its like it never happened! Does anyone have any input on what caused the accident? So far all I know is that the train derailed in a tunnel.  :glare:

With all due respect, Pete, intense interest doesn't always issue into thorough and methodical investigation and research techniques.  

Due to the fatality and legal and regulatory issues involved the state regulatory agency, I think it's acronym is called DOSH, is probably required by state law to conduct it's investigation in a certain way and within a certain length of time.  They have to interview witnesses, Disney employees and management, examine records, find the manufacturer and examine their records, pull their research facts together and come to some official conclusions in a formally written report.  Sometimes state agencies are given X-days (like 60 or 90 or whatever) within which to focus their time to do the investigation right and not rushed and to issue their written findings as to cause.  The written findings are evidence in case the situation winds up in court.  So it must all be conducted very carefully and methodically.  

It is not the same as investigating a fatal traffic accident.  A fatal traffic accident investigation, depending on severity, takes hours and all must be photographed, measured, data collected and then any toxicology tests (to test for drugs or illness in the drivers) take time to conduct and results come forth.  When airplanes crash, whether small plane or commercial airliner, that takes longer to investigate.  With amusement park rides it can take weeks or months depending on what happened.  No two scenarios alike.  

I think when that fatal accident happened to the guest on the Columbia ship at Disneyland a few years ago that took months to resolve.  It's not as if state agencies are adequately funded anymore with enough staff to handle investigating many accidents or workplace problems simultaneously, not just high profile ones.  

Then some personal injury attorneys have been retained by families of those on that fateful train and they in turn are conducting their own investigations.

While investigations are ongoing the investigators owe more to accuracy and integrity in the investigative process than they do to the news media.  This is not to say a public agency investigating a fatal accident needs to keep in the shadows and stay secret.  But, with all due respect, common sense would be if they are still investigating they don't have all the facts they need yet and hence there is nothing to say or update about until their work is complete.  Obviously they would announce findings if it's in the public interest to accurately say truth and known facts and causes.  Since no one is issuing anything yet it stands to reason there is nothing substantive yet to say.

Sometimes it takes months for these things to be announced and then more months for the problems to be fixed.  The space shuttle that disintegrated February 2003 upon re-entry seemed to have obvious problems when the foam hit the wing at lift off.  Yet while that seemed known and obvious, it's imprudent to state that was the reason until tests, record searches, interviews and other analysis can be done in order to verify a theory.  A report was issued in that accident only recently, months after the accident occurred.  And it will take more months to redesign and retrofit or build anew those components of the foam on external fuel tanks so the shuttle program can safely resume, and to rewrite and implement internal changes so that personnel are more responsible and accountable for future flights.  So too are space shuttles and theme park attractions more complicated in their safety and investigation requirements than car accidents which happen more frequently and have a higher fatality rate.

So what happened to the news coverage of the investigation of the Disneyland Big Thunder Mountain accident is that there is nothing to report, yet, because the investigation is still ongoing.   If you were to call DOSH and ask you might hear that by state law an investigation of this nature may take as little as XX-days or as long as YY-days to complete, and that time limit is to compel the state agency to get it overwith yet not dawdle yet not rush into things.  With staffing funding that agency is doing all it can with what money from the state they can have along with doing ongoing work on other cases too.  

What caused the accident?  So far we might know it wasn't rider error or rider health concerns.  What caused the accident then?  Still being studied.  And the public isn't owed an explanation if the investigation isn't finished.  And the news media can poke and prod, but they would only discover facts so far in disconnected bits and pieces that can be misconstrued and thus ruin, say, the objectivity of a jury pool and the integrity of litigation and the reputation of individuals and corporations without due process.   Equal justice under the law protects victim and those alleged to have contributed to the accident until all the facts and truth can be laid out.

So perhaps a little maybe you are overreacting.   It's true that a lot of rides at Disneyland seem down at the same time and that's not a good thing.  But you have to take common sense and how regulatory angencies and the legal process work in to consideration and bring that to the forefront of your mind and emotions as you recall this accident.

Despite public interest and demand, justice has to be fair to all concerned and that means, in part, not rushing anything.  In a similar situation if you were the one being scrutinized you too would want it done slowly, deliberately and fairly so that true facts and findings came out and no trial-in-the-media would falsely accuse you of anything before the facts came out.  What if you were the person pushing buttons that day controlling the ride at the moment of the accident?  Would you want the news media to have your name out there as "having controlled the ride" with an implication that you had something to do with it?  And if you'd followed all procedures and then weeks later a final report exonerated you, but the earlier eager-beaver news media story, or Internet rumor, had already linked you with a negative implication as being "involved" with what happened?  That is called "libel" when it's written, "slander" when it's spoken and it's legally actionable and it's hard as heck to regain your reputation after that because the first words out, including implied meanings about people and corporations, are the ones that stick.  Hard as heck to undo that.  You wouldn't want that happening to you, and state regulatory agencies, the legal system and any individual or corporation wouldn't want it happening to them, either.  Law protect the innocent as well as bring those to blame to justice.  Justice works both ways.  It was a rush that evening and weekend to follow the news.  But that part of the process is over.  Now the investigation is going on and that will take time and patience to wait for the findings.

Sorry for the lecture.  Something positive that can be done is perhaps to contribute to any funds set up for the benefit and aid of surviving victims and families if they are of low or modest financial means.  Turn your passion for justice into a burst of community service, pour that energy and emotion into any local groups or events soon that are set up to improve the community overall or worse off groups of people or individuals.  It will burn off the "charge" you feel in the frustration of not knowing what happened that morning, you'll feel more in command and you'll constructively and positively satisfy that inner desire "to do something when something must be done".  

I hope this helps.  :)


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bishopsnet Offline

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Posted: Sep. 27, 2003 10:23 am/pm Quote

Well Carol,

 That was informative. Look, I understand what your trying to say. I thought about all that before I posted the topic. But I just don't see that as being the reason. I hate to look on the negative, but an investigation is an investigation. What I mean is, every investigation whether it is a murder or a theme park ride has guidelines to follow. However, that doesn't stop the media from finding out and posting every piece of "suspected" evidence. For example, in the Laci Peterson case I hear something new almost every week. They just don't wait until all the facts are in. The information is always leaked somehow. Even in the Space Shuttle investigation you mentioned earlier, it was I think less than a week before they were telling us what they thought had possibly happened. I just think its funny that we haven't heard anything. They haven't just been spinning there wheels for weeks to come up with nothing. And what about the witnesses? Nobody thought to ask them what they think happened? I personally haven't heard of any interviews with witnesses.

   Basically when I said "something smells", this is what I had in mind. Disney Corp. has had some recent financial troubles. The good people of Anaheim rely on The Disneyland Resort as a revenue booster for the city. So right there you have a biased "city" investigator. That's why I believe the families of the deceased have hired their own investigators. And then, like I said before, we haven't really gotten any news from the witnesses. If I were in Mike Eisners' shoes, I would be trying to keep this thing under wraps. Especially, if my corporation is struggling. No need to have a drop in attendance because the public found out something crazy like, say for instance, Disney wasn't maintaining the rides properly.

   So, it could be that the investigation is just taking a while and they have been stumped on this incident or it could be that they are just trying to figure out the settlements (payoffs) and a version of the story that smoothes the public over. I wouldn't rule out the latter though.

P.S. Not tryn to hate on ya Carol. Your version does sound valid.


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CarolKoster Offline

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Posted: Sep. 28, 2003 9:43 am/pm Quote

Quote (bishopsnet @ Sep. 27, 2003 10:23 am/pm)
Well Carol,

 That was informative. Look, I understand what your trying to say. I thought about all that before I posted the topic. But I just don't see that as being the reason. I hate to look on the negative, but an investigation is an investigation. What I mean is, every investigation whether it is a murder or a theme park ride has guidelines to follow. However, that doesn't stop the media from finding out and posting every piece of "suspected" evidence. For example, in the Laci Peterson case I hear something new almost every week. They just don't wait until all the facts are in. The information is always leaked somehow. Even in the Space Shuttle investigation you mentioned earlier, it was I think less than a week before they were telling us what they thought had possibly happened. I just think its funny that we haven't heard anything. They haven't just been spinning there wheels for weeks to come up with nothing. And what about the witnesses? Nobody thought to ask them what they think happened? I personally haven't heard of any interviews with witnesses.

   Basically when I said "something smells", this is what I had in mind. Disney Corp. has had some recent financial troubles. The good people of Anaheim rely on The Disneyland Resort as a revenue booster for the city. So right there you have a biased "city" investigator. That's why I believe the families of the deceased have hired their own investigators. And then, like I said before, we haven't really gotten any news from the witnesses. If I were in Mike Eisners' shoes, I would be trying to keep this thing under wraps. Especially, if my corporation is struggling. No need to have a drop in attendance because the public found out something crazy like, say for instance, Disney wasn't maintaining the rides properly.

   So, it could be that the investigation is just taking a while and they have been stumped on this incident or it could be that they are just trying to figure out the settlements (payoffs) and a version of the story that smoothes the public over. I wouldn't rule out the latter though.

P.S. Not tryn to hate on ya Carol. Your version does sound valid.

Thank you for the reply you wrote back, Bishopsnet.  I'll try to address some of your points.

Re: 24 Hour news channels coverage of space shuttle disintegration and Laci Peterson cases revealing and leaking information and news tidbits:  Here's a primer on how news gathering in 2003 works.  I say this from some experience since I used to work in radio and TV as a journalist and newscast producer and Rich my husband currently does work in a local TV news operation and the places we work/ed used to submit stories to their major network affiliated news or CNN when the situation was "big" enough to do so, or sometimes the network guys come to where we are to cover the story and the local station provides editting and satellite uplink facilities.  OK:  Sometimes there are scheduled events, such as press conferences, trial dates in a criminal or civil case, announcements of grand openings or ground breakings, or some other known event so that a news gathering organization will know about it and refer it to an individual called "assignment editor" or "city desk editor" to schedule on a calendar for a future date.  That date arrives and the assignment editor might assign a reporter and photographer, just a reporter, or a camera crew or radio person to go personally to check it out.  Sometimes reporters come up with their own ideas for stories, features, follow-ups, and if those ideas seem substantive enough  the assignment editor will schedule it for coverage.  Then there is listening to the police scanner in the newsroom.  Certain law enforcement and fire department codes mean "accident with injuries" or "fatalities" or "shooting" or "armed robbery" and depending where it is and the sound of the chatter sounds serious and urgent then off at least a video crew will go, a radio reporter phones law enforcement to get an audio interview and a newspaper reporter might either go or work the phones.  They cover the breaking news and as part of that future dates for investigation, arraignment, future news conferences, etc. will pop up and that gets scheduled on the assignment editor's calendar for future follow-up coverage.  No two events or days are the same, and of course in the case of something particularly serious new facts come out within hours of each newscast.  Newsroom people, print, radio and TV, know this territory in and out.  Accidents with fatalities happen all the time, in cars, on the freeways, at construction sites, inside amusement parks, freak accidents happen with the weather, you name it.  The investigative process when done by law enforcement, a district attorney's office, a governmental regulatory agency, all have lengths of time, prescribed by law, within which to get the task of finding out the "why and how" in fact form accomplished.  News agencies know this because they deal with it every day, not just about Disneyland or major corporation entertainment entities, but about every place a fatality of any kind can happen.  

News agencies do indeed follow-up on news stories but they are not going to fill their news space in the paper or air time on radio or TV or cable with "Well, nothing new about the  case today" or "Remember yesterday when we told you there was nothing new about  case?  Still true today, nothing new." and etc.  "Nothing new today" isn't news.  And a steady stream of that is boring to readers, listeners and viewers.  If it's boring to readers, listeners and viewers those readers, viewers and listeners are going to skip or tune out that news source and find another.  When readers, listeners and viewers tune out of a newspaper or radio or TV or cable news channel habit the ratings decline.  If the ratings decline the advertisers feel their ad dollars aren't well spent for the amount of exposure they were promised.  Don't be upset by this:  In a free market economy advertising is a valid business and it's how newspapers, radio, TV and cable validly make their money...it's not a public service although in radio and TV they operate under Federal license and must do so according to Federal and other regulations.  Anyway, the point here is there are indeed follow-up phone calls being made on a regular basis by either the city editor desks, radio reporters or TV assignment desk staffers to those law enforcement or regulatory agencies "Anything new today?" and experienced reporters know the staffs and press offices at these agencies and know how to ask questions to elicit information.  When you are in the news media as your livelihood, trust me, the Los Angeles-Southern California market is #2 in the country, after New York City, and other than working in NY or one of the major networks in broadcast you have reached the pinnacle of your profession, cream of the crop only, no newbies or spineless jellyfish or starry-eyed need apply.  The ratings competition is fierce and they want people to keep reading, listening or viewing on a minute-by-minute basis.  They know when it's a waste of time and resources to cover a story and when to keep digging.  Part of what they have to know to know when to keep digging and when to let a process take it's course and come back later is to know laws, regulatory agencies laws, and how those agencies work and investigate.  If the highly competitive news industry in California can't come up with anything substantive yet it means the investigation is ongoing, these agencies are playing it close to the vest, and the news media has to fill their column space and air time with other stories for the time being.

I dug around on Mouse Planet's Disneyland discussion board and Laughing Place's Disneyland discussion board.  Had to go back 7 pages of threads on Mouse Planet and 3 pages on Laughing Place to find anything like a shred of new information.  The most recent tidbits being about 9 days ago when the Los Angeles Times wrote a story about past accidents reported to California regulatory agencies on Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain, which include mostly a heart attack and dizziness (according to state law if someone complains to that agency it must be noted, even when the complaint is 'only' dizziness).  Posters on Mouse Planet, where I read this, dismiss this article as "Must've been a slow news day for the LA Times today to report that".  Another tidbit has to do with Disneyland's official WWW site finally updated the rehab schedule for rides in the park so that Big Thunder is closed 'indefinitely.'  Mouse Planet posters seem consistent that Big Thunder will be closed at least a year.  Most recent post under that thread reads that Disneyland couldn't possibly announce a definite reopening date until the investigation is completed.  The last real substantive discussion took place within a week or the accident on both sites.  

Something to know about Mouse Planet and Laughing Place.  Mouse Planet was founded by Al Lutz and others after reading an posting on alt.disney.disneyland newsgroup on Usenet got to be so voluminous.  Mouse Planet, under Lutz, got to be known as a Disney watchdog site, loving the history but decrying what the park has become, in their minds.  Although Mouse Planet covers all aspects of Disney and all the Disney parks in the world, it's heart and soul is Disneyland coverage.  Pretty much dittoes for Laughing Place.  They post links to newspaper and WWW site headlines with true news to report about anything Disney.  Their coverage of the accident that day and night was up-to-the-minute, sensitive and based on knowledge of Disneyland and all that's gone on there in the past, good, bad and ugly.  They have regulars who report and post on the discussion boards who have Annual Passes and who go all the time, daily even, just to keep up with what's new and report to others about it.  These folks truly do know every blade of grass that grows in the park.   If something about the investigation or news coverage of it were amiss, there would be recent postings, postings of "today" nature.  And I had to dig back that far to find anything truly substantive.  All the rest is rumor and chit-chat and speculation and putting 2-cents in and "What if we could redesign Frontierland...." and that sort of thing.  

The news media on 24-hour national cable news channels, Fox included, need content 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day.  The operations have their reporters, affiliates, wire services, and assignment desks same as on the local level.  They cover news that is of interest of a national and international nature.  They also have a lot of time to fill.  Amusement park accidents happen and get coverage.  But these are also cream of the crop highly experienced people too.  They are not going to air "Nothing new, folks, in the case of ____" because that also sends people to pick up their remote controls and go "click" to another station.  They are also evolving, unfortunately, into running scandal, sensationalism and "If it bleeds, it leads" (any death especially grisly and heart-tugging ones will top each hour's newscast 'til something else takes precedence) into the ground.   That they do report little facts and leaks, no matter how obscure or "out in left field" it may be, because the field is competitive and waiting for investigations to play out is so dull.  They have to fill their air time 24 hours a day with something.  So they find shards and fragments of information and they do report rumor as fact, air it, then find talking heads to talk about it.  They feel that, for instance, Laci Peterson was an attractive lady, due to give birth, and she died in a still undetermined way.  In fact, her remains were buried and the justice system is engaging in putting the trial case together as well as defending her husband.  There is nothing visually interesting about that.  Like Jon Benet Ramsey or other high profile cases, these people when alive were visually attractive and the news channels feel they can milk it and milk it and milk it dry and when dry go back for more.  When you take 20 steps back from it you realize not all that much truly new or important has come out and all the 24 hour news channels are doing is milking little tidbits dry since they cannot wait 'wil the actual trial.  When you assess 24 hour news channel coverage all defendants are found guilty immediately, when our justice system presumes innocence until proven guilty in a court of law.  The news media is to cover news, not try cases in public.  

There are various events vying for public attention in the news.  The War in Iraq.  The California Gubernatorial Election and Recall.  If life were more routine, as in prior to 9/11, Southern California news media might submit the Disneyland accident at Big Thunder Mountain to more sensational scrutiny than today.  They are preoccupied with the recall and gubernatorial election.  And if anything truly substantive and truly new and of major enough interest in the accident investigation were to emerge, news media would indeed report it and the various Disneyland WWW discussiono boards would be alive with it.  They're not.  Nothing new.  Nothing suppressed.  Other news is happening and an accident investigation is ongoing.

East New Orleans is a depressed suburb of the city where we live around.  At one time it was a growing suburb, now it's just emptier and businesses don't thrive there.  Some operators got a big regional amusement park built there, Jazzland.  It underwhelmed folks and has struggled the past couple of years since opening.  Six Flags bought it, made some changes, reopened it, some say it's better but it's got to re-establish itself, get some new big ticket rides in there and work hard to bring people in.  A grandmother brought her 4 year old grandson there last spring.  Was strapping her grandchild into a whirl-a-whirl-type ride for kiddies.  Was busy doing that and the ride started while the grandmother was still there, and she got violently struck in the head and died.  Was it her fault?  Operator error?  Mechanical error?  Some of the above or something else?  It occupied news for a day or two after it happened.  But the accident investigation is on and there is nothing to cover until that process is complete.  The park reopened but I don't know attendance figures.  Fatal accidents aren't attractive to patrons, and the part of town it happened in is still waiting for a white knight company or attraction to lure people and businesses back to it.  Similar to how Disneyland now is in Anaheim.  City officials aren't suppressing news coverage.  News media in print, radio and TV see nothing really to cover since the economic problems in that part of town are well-known, ongoing and Six Flags Jazzland's problems are well-known and ongoing.  When the season for Jazzland ends and they shut down 'til spring 2004, some coverage will be paid to whether the park had an overall successful season or not and whether the fatality had an impact.  But that won't be for another month or two.  So they cover other events in the city.  Similarly, Disneyland's problems can be traced to the failure of Disney's California Adventure to catch on to the public.  There is no "breaking news" to cover there on a daily basis, so the news media doesn't.  When something happens important enough to cover, the news media is there.  Anaheim's dependency on Disneyland tourism and support businesses is ongoing.  Tourism all over the US is trying to recover after 9/11.  It isn't just Disney and Anaheim plugging along hoping for better times and trying to find the right tourism promotion strategy to prompt reluctant folks to travel.  But if it's ongoing, already rather thoroughly covered in other prior stories and nothing much new has happened since, there is no reason for the news media to report "Here's another story about the same ongoing thing, folks!"  That also is a tune out, if it's unnecessarily repetitive.

Michael Eisner is documented as having an ego problem and stockholders likely would wish he'd retire already and name a successor.  But with regard to the legal and regulatory atmosphere of corporate governance and malfeasance going on, of course Disney is going to step carefully but they can't hide anything.  Are they, as Al Lutz at MiceAge alleges, shredding documents crucial to the investigation?  Who knows?  Who knows Al Lutz's sources for that allegation?  Do the sources have an ax to grind, or are they deliberately feeding Al dirt and falsehoods to fulfill some kind of agenda?  No one knows, do they, and if they do know they aren't talking or having press conferences about it.  People on Mouse Planet's and Laughing Place's Disneyland discussion boards tend lately to dismiss Al Lutz as a crackpot and chronic complainer and naysayer, a half-cocked vigilante who has a gift for articulate writing but may not always be accurate.  There's a ton of things Michael Eisner ought to be doing that used to be done by his corporate partner Frank Wells before Wells was killed in 1994 in a helicopter accident.  There is no Frank Wells to tell Michael Eisner "no" or when ideas are bad ideas.  But by law, since the last fatal accident at Disneyland on the Columbia ship, regulatory and law enforcement investigators were given first crack at the accident scene to gather evidence and Disney could access it only after the investigators were gone.  By law Disney would have had to keep certain records of maintanance and turn these over to authorities.  There is nothing much Michael Eisner can do but cooperate and urge his managers and staffers to do the same.  Until the facts of the investigation are known in a published and publicly announced way there is nothing anyone can do.  These things take time, thank goodness they do because no one wants a rush to judgement on something so serious.

There can be no settlements or payoffs if no suits have been filed.  Trust too that attorneys retained by accident victim families are also investigating and have to go at the same pace as the regulatory and law enforcement investigations go.  The attorney's for plaintiffs can't say, or leak, anything if it's not time or not to their own advantage yet they too are sworn to uphold the law and follow proper judicial process. Plaintiffs attorneys are not going to file a lawsuit 'til the facts are in, and if the investigative process is ongoign they have to wait for official findings same as the public is doing.

Life isn't like a fast food drive up or nice, neat 30-or-60 minute TV drama.  It's delivery of satisfying product or outcome to storylines by nature take longer and are less dramatic and flashy.  Style over substance attracts audiences but doesn't sustain in the long term.  Real life works differently than fast food or fictional drama.  This is real life and this is how real life works.  You are welcome to believe differently.  However, that updates on news and discussion on prominent Disney-Disneyland WWW discussion forums aren't alking about the accident or even speculating on it anymore is a major clue.  There's nothing going on.

You can dig around for this stuff as well as I can in order to verify.  Go over to www.mouseplanet.com, www.laughingplace.com and read their Disneyland message forums on the date of the accident and then forward to present day, read all the messages about the accident on the news group on Usenet called alt.disney.disneyland, Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register WWW sites and join up to get news updates or research back in time, look ongoing at Southern California TV station news department WWW sites, any national news cable channel WWW sites, read Bernard Goldberg's book "Bias", you can even phone the newsrooms of these places and ask them "Why aren't you covering the Disneyland Big Thunder Mountain accident that happened a few weeks ago more than you are?"  You can submit Letters to the Editor demanding to know where the investigative news coverage is.  If you're that passionate about it, go for it.  Dig around, sample other people's postings, catch the wind direction and speed and trends elsewhere.  Check it out to your own satisfaction.  

People in the meantime wait for the news but they don't dwell on it.  They enjoy what is open and enjoyable about Disneyland in the meantime.  They get on with life in the meantime.  They regret the sadness of what happened, abhor the natur of it, hope something can happen to fix it so it doesn't happen again, they think well of the victims and their families....and they move on with life.  Anything that can be said or discussed has already been.  'Til something truly new and substantive comes out, in a healthy progressive way, they simply move on with their lives since there is nothing more to say or can be done.  Hard-core Disney fans on these message forums care as much as you do, but they too are moving on but keeping an eye out.  Peruse these places  Mouse Planet, Laughing Place and alt.disney.disneyland and see for yourself.  

But I still respectfully submit if you feel you want to "do something" contribute a day's Disneyland expenses you'd normally spend there to the victim's funds to help offset their expenses and medical bills.  

I respect your opinion, as I hope you will mine, but I agree to disagree with you and wish you well.  Maybe, with all due respect and just a suggestion here, step back from the computer, Internet and cable TV news channels and get a breath of air, ride a bike and take a breather for a few days.  :-)  It's OK to be concerned and wonder what happened, and to feel frustrated and concerned over wanting to know an outcome soon.  But reality is it takes time.  That's simply the truth.


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Posted: Sep. 28, 2003 4:10 am/pm Quote

Good to see both of you have apparently agreed to disagree about the possible causes of why the investigation is still outgoing and that the tone of the conversation is civil and hasn't degraded to a level that it might have at other discussion areas with other people involved.

At this point, I think this thread should be about the actual news of the fatal accident and the investigation of it, with more details posted as they come out. A better place for speculation about the length or thoroughness of the investigation would be better suited in the "Rumors" forum on the Disney Echo.

As soon as more details about what caused this accident are announced, it will be posted here in this thread in the Disneyland Resort forum.


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Posted: Oct. 04, 2003 1:20 am/pm Quote

Update

Here's the latest report on the incident. I find the third paragraph particularly interesting. Click the Update hyperlink for the actual news site that reported it.

The Sept. 5 crash that killed 22-year-old Marcelo Torres of Gardena and injured 10 other people was not the result of any criminal wrongdoing, police said Thursday, announcing they had closed their investigation.

According to police reports obtained by the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register, park employees heard the sound coming from the roller coaster ride at least 30 minutes before the crash.

The reports on the noise were blacked out of the files police released publicly.

Park employees were planning to take the ride's No. 2 train out of service, police said, but before they got the chance the engine separated from the rail cars.

One ride operator described the noise as a "clack."

"He said it wasn't very loud or very alarming, but he stated that it did not sound right so he decided they should take the train off the next time around," the police report stated. "He said the train never made it back around for them to remove it from operation."

Another employee said she had taken a "ride-through" on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad as part of a maintenance routine and had also heard a noise.

The locomotive lost a "bogie" — the assembly that carries the rear wheels — causing it to strike a tunnel roof, the Register said of information it obtained from the coroner's office and the police report. The first car then ran under the airborne locomotive, killing Torres.

The ride remains closed as the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health continues to investigate. The police probe, which was only to determine if criminal wrongdoing was involved, is now closed but could be reopened if more evidence emerges.

"We have concluded that there was nothing criminal in nature that caused this to happen," said police Sgt. Rick Martinez.


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