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Disney World Monorail Crash Kills 21 Monorail Conductor

Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida was the scene of a monorail train crash early today (July 5, 2009).

(Image of Magic Kingdom Park - Twitter - All Rights Reserved).

Sadly the crash resulted in the death of one of the train's conductors and involved two trains.

It was the first deadly monorail crash in the history of the train system which spans over 38 years.  Luckily no passengers were hurt.

Walt Disney has released an official statement regarding the sad event:

"Today, we mourn the loss of our fellow cast member. Our hearts go out to his family and those who have lost a friend and coworker. The safety of our guests and cast members is always our top priority. The monorail is out of service and we will continue to work closely with law enforcement to determine what happened and the appropriate next steps."

According to a Walt Disney World spokesperson the crash happened at about 2 a.m. Sunday on the monorail's last run of the day after the annual Independence Day fireworks show. The trains were carrying only five passengers and two employees, none of whom were hurt.

"Two trains collided at the ticket and transportation center. One driver on one train (21-year-old Austin Wuennenberg) is dead and the other driver from the second train was taken to the hospital," said Bo Jones of the Reedy Creek Fire Department.

Austin Wuennenberg was pronounced dead on the scene after not responding to passengers and firefighters alike. The driver and passengers on the monorail that was hit by Wuennenberg's train escaped the accident with only minor injuries.

Although Disney World reopened on Sunday, the monorail system will be closed until the accident is completely investigated.

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