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Accident Report Detail

Collision of Two Monorails in Walt Disney World Resort

Executive Summary

About 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 5, 2009, two monorails collided on a fixed guideway system referred to as the Epcot beam near the Concourse station within Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The accident occurred when the Pink monorail backed through an improperly aligned switch-beam and struck the Purple monorail. An operator and six passengers were on board the Purple monorail at the time of the collision. The operator was fatally injured; the passengers were not injured. The only occupant of the Pink monorail, the operator, was taken to a nearby hospital and treated and released. At the time of the accident, weather conditions were clear with light winds and a temperature of 76° Fahrenheit. One operating cab from each of the monorails was destroyed. Total damages were estimated at $24 million.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the July 5, 2009, collision between two monorails at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, was the shop panel operator's failure to properly position switch-beam 9 and the failure of the monorail manager acting as the central coordinator to verify the position of switch-beam 9 before authorizing the reverse movement of the Pink monorail. Contributing to the accident was Walt Disney World Resort's lack of standard operating procedures leading to an unsafe practice when reversing trains on its monorail system.

Accident Location: Lake Buena Vista , FL    
Accident Date: 7/5/2009
Accident ID: DCA09FR008

Date Adopted: 10/31/2011
NTSB Number: RAB-11-07
NTIS Number: