A female whale trainer died this afternoon at SeaWorld’s Shamu Stadium in Orlando, Florida, with witnesses saying she was killed during a public “Killer Whale” show.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, a local TV station is reporting that a female employee was killed after she was grabbed by one of the theme park’s whales at the start of a public show.
A park guest and witness told the local TV station that the veteran trainer had just introduced the show to the audience when the whale shot out of the water and grabbed the woman.
“He was thrashing her around pretty good. It was violent,'” she said, according to the Local 6 report.
The whale “took off really fast in the tank, and then he came back, shot up in the air, grabbed the trainer by the waist and started thrashing around, and one of her shoes flew off.”
Sirens sounded and everyone was evacuated from the park. Orange County Fire Rescue were called to the park at 2 p.m. and said the trainer wasn’t breathing when they arrived.
According to reports, she did not survive the attack.
SeaWorld is owned by The Blackstone Group (BX), which acquired the park’s previous owner Busch Entertainment Company (BEC). The Blackstone Group also owns about half of the Universal Orlando resort and theme parks.
Here’s CBS News’ USTREAM with reporting on the event:
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