Boy, 12, dies after Disney ride

A 12-year-old boy died after riding a roller coaster at the Disney-MGM theme park, the latest in a string of mishaps at Walt Disney World.

Michael Russell's father noticed the boy was limp as the family got off the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, said Barbara Miller, Orange County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.

The boy was pronounced dead after he was taken by ambulance to Celebration Hospital, Disney said in a statement.

No cause of death was immediately determined. State officials say he is the ninth person to die at Disney World since 2003.

The theme park said the roller coaster was operating normally, but it closed the ride pending a full investigation.

A Disney website description of the ride says: "Zoom from 0-60 miles mph (97 kph) with the force of a supersonic F-14, take in high-speed loops and turns synchronised to a specially recorded Aerosmith soundtrack".

The sheriff's office was investigating at the scene.

A Disney spokesman said the company was helping the family from Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Michael had gone on the ride with his parents and seven-year-old brother.

"Our deepest concerns are with the family," Disney spokesman Jacob DiPietre said.

Two people have died after going on another Disney ride, Epcot's Mission: Space.

The space simulator spins riders in a centrifuge that subjects them to twice the normal force of gravity.

Daudi Bamuwamye, four, of Sellersville, Pennsylvania, died on June 13, 2005.

An autopsy determined he died of an irregular heartbeat linked to an abnormal thickening of the heart muscle that can cause sudden death.

In April, a 49-year-old woman from Germany became ill and died after going on the ride.

A medical examiner's report said she died from bleeding of the brain and had severe, long-standing high blood pressure.

The ride has signs warning people with heart, back and neck problems not to ride.

Epcot now offers a tamer version of the ride that does not include centrifugal force.


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