Teen Disneyland worker crushed to death trapped between ride’s rotating walls

An 18-year-old girl Disneyland worker died after getting trapped between two walls at an attraction – just over a week after it opened.

Deborah Gail Stone, from Santa Ana, in California, took on the summer job as a hostess to save up for her college tuition.

Her job was to greet each new audience as they settled into the seating area.

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The £5million ($6m) attraction – America Sings – was opened on June 29, 1974, replacing The Carousel of Progress.

The attraction featured songs from America’s musical history sung by a cast of animals.

It has been reported that on the ride, the walls moved towards each other on the left-hand side of the stage and closed in place to separate each theatre from the other like a merry-go-round.

At the end of each 24-minute show, there would be a 45-second interval when the audience left and the walls moved into position to start a new cycle – Deborah is believed to have died during the interval.

On July 8, less than two weeks after the attraction first opened, Stone is believed to have become trapped too close to the narrow channel between the moving theatre wall and the stationary stage wall.

It isn’t exactly clear how she got there but she either fell, stepped backwards, or tried to jump from one stage to the other as the rotating wall began to move. Sadly, she was crushed to death.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Daniel Robison, a member of the Air Force, had been sitting with his family in the front row of an adjoining theatre.

The then 33-year-old told investigators he looked to his right, saw what he thought was a child being pulled between the platform and wall and heard a scream.

Following Deborah's death, the attraction was shut for two days while Disneyland launched an investigation into the accident they “believed to be impossible”.

They also installed safety lights and had the area where the incident occurred cleaned before reopening on July 11.

The walls in the theatre were later remodelled so they would break away if a similar accident happened. America Sings eventually closed on April 10, 1988.

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