SeaWorld worker killed by orca whale in front of crowd
Orlando (AP) — An employee at SeaWorld Orlando has died after being attacked by a killer whale.
Orange County Fire Rescue spokesman John Mulhall says paramedics were called Wednesday afternoon to the Shamu Stadium at the theme park resort where they found a worker who could not be revived.
Park guest Victoria Biniak told WKMG-TV that the trainer had just finished explaining to the audience the show they were about to see.
Biniak told the station the whale suddenly came up from the water, grabbed the trainer around the waist and "thrashed her all around" to the point the trainer's shoe fell off.
The guests were evacuate and the park was closed.
The fatal attack is not the first time that a killer whale at a SeaWorld park has turned on a trainer.
In Nov. 2006, trainer Kenneth Peters, 39, was bitten and held underwater several times by a 7,000-pound killer whale during a show at SeaWorld's San Diego park. He escaped with a broken foot.
The 17-foot-long orca who attacked him was the dominant female of SeaWorld San Diego's seven killer whales. She had attacked Peters on two prior occasions, in 1993 and 1999.
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