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SeaWorld Testimony Sought in Killer-Whale Attack Probe

Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Labor Department asked a court to compel Blackstone Group LP’s SeaWorld of Florida LLC to report how the marine theme park is easing hazards discovered after a trainer died in an attack by a killer whale.

SeaWorld has declined to provide three managers for interviews about steps taken after the six-ton whale grabbed Dawn Brancheau at the Orlando, Florida, facility in 2010, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said today in a news release.

The agency wants to know whether workers “continue to be exposed to unsafe and unhealthy working conditions,” David Michaels, an assistant secretary of labor, said in the release.

The Labor Department unit on Dec. 13 asked the U.S. District Court for the Middle of Florida to compel the managers’ testimony, Michael D’Aquino, a spokesman, said in an e-mail.

In an e-mail, Fred Jacobs, a SeaWorld spokesman, declined to comment.

The Orlando facility is one of 11 operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Inc., according to the SeaWorld website. The company may conduct an initial public offering in early 2013, people with knowledge of the matter said this month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at

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