Space Mountain Reopens at Disneyland After 3-Week Safety Closure

Image: Space Mountain Reopens at Disneyland After 3-Week Safety Closure

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 11:38 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Space Mountain reopened Friday evening at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., after closing for three weeks for safety improvements prompted by numerous violations state regulators issued the popular ride.

A contractor's injury in late 2012 prompted state regulators to investigate the space-themed indoor roller coaster, which is 85 feet high and approximately 3,000 feet long.

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The inspectors found multiple safety violations relating to safety procedures and equipment for maintenance staff.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) issued six violations for Space Mountain on April 13 that equated to more than $234,000 in fines.

"Disneyland Resort failed to have approved anchorages or approved tie-backs for contract employees to attach to when performing scheduled exterior building maintenance," DOSH said in a statement about the citation.

The six violations pertained to fire extinguisher maintenance and safety barrier and anchor maintenance for exterior cleaners.

In addition to Space Mountain, two other Disney rides, The Matterhorn Bobsleds and Soarin' Over California, were also closed in April as a precaution.

"We constantly strive to maintain a safe work environment for our cast members and contractors — and we are reviewing certain protocols," Disneyland Resorts Spokesperson Suzi Brown said last month after the closings were announced.

A follow-up inspection at the park has yet to be scheduled, a DOSH spokesman told The Los Angeles Times.

Last November, a 37-year-old contractor's harness malfunctioned while he was cleaning a roof on the ride, causing him to slip and fall 20 feet before landing on the lip of a large, ridged roof, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Several weeks earlier, a machinist was also critically injured when a car on the ride struck him during an early morning test ride before the park opened.

The Matterhorn and Soarin' Over California rides have also reopened recently.

Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, however, remains closed since January due to a scheduled overhaul unrelated to citations.

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