ORLANDO, Fla. -- A 4-year-old boy on a family vacation died Monday afternoon after he passed out on a Disney World ride at Epcot Center.
The incident happened around 3:30 p.m. on the Mission: SPACE ride, according to Disney officials. The ride spins passengers on a multi-armed centrifuge to simulate a launch into space. It exerts twice the normal force of gravity on occupants.
Daudi Bamuwamye, 4, reportedly passed out on the ride and paramedics responded. Witnesses reported seeing the Daudi's mother carry him outside to a nearby bench, where paramedics were able to briefly revive him. But the child died about 5 p.m. at Celebration Hospital.
Officials shut down the ride for the rest of the day. It reopened today after Disney engineers determined it was operating normally.
Warning signs advise pregnant women not to go on the ride, caution about motion sickness and ban children shorter than 44 inches. An audio recording and a video also warn riders of the risks. The local sheriff's department said the boy met the height restriction.
The boy was on vacation from Pennsylvania with his family. He was on the ride with his mother and sister. A cause of death could not be immediately determined and an autopsy is expected to be performed today.
Disney released a statement saying, "We are providing support to the family and doing everything we can help them at this time."
Riders Have Been Hospitalized Before
During an eight-month period that ended last year, six people over age 55 were taken to the hospital for chest pain and nausea after riding Mission: SPACE, a $100 million attaction that is one of Disney World's most popular. It was the most hospital visits for a single ride since Florida's major theme parks agreed in 2001 to report any serious injuries to the state.
Updated figures were not immediately available. Although the 2004 reports showed no major injuries or illnesses from Mission: SPACE, the hospital visits came up in discussions with state officials who consult annually with park officials about safety.
Mission: SPACE opened in October 2003.
One Other Death This Year
One other death was reported at Disney World this year.
Gloria Land, 77, of St. Paul, Minn., who was in poor health from diabetes and several ministrokes, lost consciousness in February after going on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at the Magic Kingdom. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.
"The death was not unexpected," the medical examiner's report said.