One Guest Hospitalized Following Skyliner Shutdown & Stranding
One significant facet of the Skyliner “incident” last Saturday night remains opaque: How many injuries or serious medical issues were there for stranded guests?
This afternoon, thanks to solid reporting by Gabrielle Russon, we know a little more.
At least one person who was stuck on the Disney World gondolas on Saturday night was taken to a hospital but has since been released, according to a Reedy Creek spokeswoman.
A person riding in a cabin evacuated by the Reedy Creek firefighters asked for medical attention, said Eryka Washington, the new communications manager for Reedy Creek, Disney’s quasi-government that provides emergency services for the theme parks.
Additional information on the person’s age, gender, or condition were not available. It was unclear when the person was released from the hospital… Reedy Creek took two other people to the hospital Saturday night, but it was unclear if they had been trapped on the gondolas, which broke down for several hours mid-flight, she said.
Good Reporting = More Info, More Questions
So, now we know that there was at least one person taken to a hospital and that more occurred than an inconvenience for the guests.
Moreover, whenever the Skyliner returns to use, Disney (and fans) will be thinking seriously about how a.) WDW can mitigate any future incidents and b.) how Disney can ensure that nobody is stuck in midair for three hours.
Brian Avery, an events, tourism, and attractions operational safety expert, told USA TODAY that three hours is too long for people to be stuck in the cabin on any attraction.
“Measures should have been in place for the possibility of a ride or device failure that required an expedited rescue and/or the delivery of water, food, medicine, portable toilets…”
Avery’s analysis seems reasonable.
Meanwhile, Reedy Creek spoke to the numbers of firefighters needed to help the guests.
How Many Firefighters Were On Duty?
The Sentinel added:
Washington also said firefighters evacuated only one cabin, rescuing six people.
“Our firefighters do a terrific job at what they do,” Washington said.
But Washington disputed the Reedy Creek firefighters union’s claim that responding to the gondola had used all or nearly all of their staff.. A majority responded, but not all, Washington said.
“Safety is paramount for the district,” Washington said.
Stay tuned Mouseketeers. This story isn’t over.