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July 29, 2006

Heart Attacks Blamed For Two Roller Coaster Deaths

Tampa, FL -- Heart attacks are being blamed for two separate deaths at theme parks in Georgia and Tampa.

Busch Gardens Tampa officials said that a man apparently suffered a heart attack after riding the Gwazi roller coaster Monday morning. Thomas Welch, 52, wasn't feeling well after riding. Emergency crews responded, attempted CPR and used a defibrillator, but Welch lost consciousness and pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Thursday paramedics responded to an emergency call at Six Flags Over Georgia. A 45-year-old man died of an apparent heart attack after riding the Goliath roller coaster. Witnesses claim the man went unconscious near the end of the ride.

Firefighters responded shortly before noon to assist park medical staff, but said he was in full arrest and not breathing by the time they arrived.

Both Busch Gardens and Six Flags have signs that warn guests who suffer from heart conditions not to ride the roller coasters and thrill rides.

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