A SeaWorld employee died Wednesday afternoon during the killer whale attack, at SeaWorld's Shamu Stadium in Orlando.
Neither SeaWorld, rescue personnel or the Sheriff's Office are confirming the identity of the employee, although a local TV station is reporting that a female employee was killed after she was grabbed by one of the theme park's whales at the start of a public show.
Park guest Victoria Biniak told Local 6 that the trainer was a veteran of SeaWorld and had just finished explaining to the audience the show they were about to see.
At that point, Biniak said, the whale came up from the water and grabbed the woman.
"He was thrashing her around pretty good. It was violent,'" Biniak told Local 6.
The whale "took off really fast in the tank, and then he came back, shot up in the air, grabbed the trainer by the waist and started thrashing around, and one of her shoes flew off."
She said sirens went off and everyone was forced to leave the stadium.
Guests were evacuated from the area, and the whale show was cancelled. The park is not shut down.
Orange County Fire Rescue personnel arrived on scene within five minutes of receiving a 911 call for an unknown medical condition just prior to 2 p.m., a spokesman said. The woman was dead when rescue officials arrived.
The Sheriff's Office is on the scene.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has dispatched an investigator from Tampa to investigate, an OSHA spokesman said.
Local 6 is reporting that the whale involved in the incident is named Tillikum, and that whale has been involved in at least one other incident at the park.
SeaWorld has had incidents with its killer whales in the past. In 2005, a trainer was injured by what park officials called an "overly excited" whale that bumped the trainer during a live performance. The injuries were minor.
In 1999, the dead nude body of a homeless man was found draped across one of the whales. The man, Daniel Dukes, was thought to have either snuck into the park after hours or hidden out until after it closed in order to swim the frigid whale tank.
And in 2006, a killer whale at SeaWorld Texas in San Antonio attacked a trainer, sending him to the hospital but sparing him serious injuries.
The Sheriff's Office and SeaWorld officials have said they will hold a 4:15 p.m. briefing.
Check back for more information.