February 24, 2010
Posted: 06:37 PM ET
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(CNN) - A killer whale killed a trainer Wednesday afternoon at SeaWorld's Shamu Stadium in Orlando, Florida, a public information officer for the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.
The woman, 40, was in the whale holding area about 2 p.m. when "she apparently slipped or fell into the tank and was fatally injured by one of the whales," Jim Solomons said.
"There's no sense of foul play; right now, this appears to be an accident."
"One of our most experienced animal trainers drowned" in the accident, said Dan Brown, vice president and general manager of SeaWorld Orlando. He said an investigation will be carried out.
"We'll make our findings known in due course," he said. "We've never in the history of our parks experienced an incident like this. All standard operating procedures will be reviewed." He would not elaborate.
"Please bear with us; we've just lost a member of our family," he said.
A patron who did not witness the event said the park refunded her entry fee, although a spokeswoman said the park remained open.
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