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Teen hospitalized after Disney World ride

A 16-year-old British girl was hospitalized Tuesday after suffering cardiac arrest following a thrill ride at Walt Disney World.
/ Source: Reuters

A 16-year-old British tourist suffered cardiac arrest Tuesday after riding the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney World in Florida, a month after a 4-year-old boy died after riding another Disney World attraction.

Leeanne Deacon of Kibworth, England, was rushed to a hospital and into surgery after getting off the ride and telling her mother she did not feel well, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.

She was listed in critical condition at Florida Hospital Celebration Health, near Disney World, said hospital spokeswoman Melanie Trivento, who would not divulge the nature of the ailment due to patient confidentiality rules.

Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Solomons said Deacon went into cardiac arrest and was resuscitated by rescue workers. He said he did not know the nature of the ailment, which required the attention of a neurosurgeon.

“The ride has been closed awaiting more information,” Disney World, a unit of the Walt Disney Co., said in a statement. “The Orange County Sheriff’s Office concluded an initial investigation and found no indication of a ride malfunction.”

On the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney-MGM Studios, riders rise 13 stories in an elevator and then take a plunge. The ride’s Web site warns that users should be free of high blood pressure, heart, back and neck problems and says expectant mothers should not ride.

Homicide investigators looked into the incident and determined the ride appeared to be working correctly, Solomons said.

“We’re satisfied that at this initial stage ... maybe there was some sort of medical issue,” Solomons said. “We’re satisfied that they (Disney) did everything right. People come off thrill rides all the time in various states of queasiness.”

On June 13, 4-year-old Daudi Bamuwamye of Sellersville, Pa., died after riding Disney World’s Mission: SPACE at Epcot Center.

The $100 million ride uses centrifugal force to create the sensation of a rocket launch.