OSHA investigating Volcano Bay after technical issues, possible electrocution

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has confirmed to FOX 35 that they are investigating an incident at Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort, after the water park sent some of their employees to the hospital on Sunday.

Volcano Bay closed early that day, after experiencing "technical issues,"  according to a statement sent out earlier this week from the resort. The Orlando Fire Department said that crews were dispatched to the water park for a possible electrocution.

A Universal Orlando spokesman said that it was "out of an abundance of caution" that "a small number" of team members were transported to the hospital.  All of those involved were released from the hospital and were fine, according to Tom Schroeder. 

Early Wednesday evening, Schroeder confirmed to FOX 35 that, on Sunday, "several guests began to tell us they felt 'shocks' or other similar sensations while in the park."  He said some of the lifeguards at the park also said they felt something.

"Our medical staff asked each guest if they wanted to go to the hospital.  All said no.  A small number of our lifeguards asked to go to the hospital," Schroeder said in a statment sent to FOX 35. "It took us some time to understand exactly where these shocks were occurring.  As we identified specific areas, we quickly closed rides and other parts of those areas."   

Universal has taken some heat for first describing the incident as a "technical issue," which Schroeder addressed on Wednesday.

"We wanted to fully understand what was happening and to what degree – and then to fix it," he said. "We have worked with OUC [Orlando Utilities Commission], outside electrical contractors and our own experts – and we now know the problem is specifically electrical.  We have spent the hours and days since Sunday testing and re-testing our electrical system across the entire park.  And we have made repairs and modifications to our electrical system.  We believe this has resolved the issue."

Schroeder said some attractions within Volcano Bay remain closed while testing continues.  He also said that representatives from OSHA were at the park on Wednesday.

"We want the same thing they do – which is to make sure everyone is safe.  And so we are working closely with them. We know it is disturbing to feel any level of shock in a water park.  We definitely understand and want you to know that the safety - and trust - of our guests and team members is vital to us.   Everything we do is motivated by their safety.  And that was the case on Sunday.  We believe this problem is resolved and that our park is safe."


This story was written in Orlando, Florida.