Two people drop 34 feet to the ground after Florida roller coaster derails, while others are left dangling in the air
Six of 10 riders on the Sand Blaster were hospitalised after the accident in Daytona Beach
Two roller coaster riders were hospitalised after falling 34 feet (10 metres) to the ground when their car derailed on the Daytona Beach, Florida, boardwalk on Thursday night, the fire department said.
The condition of the riders who fell was not known, and calls to the Halifax Health hospital, where they were taken for treatment, were not returned.
Six of 10 riders on the three-car “Sand Blaster” roller coaster were taken to the hospital after the accident, the Daytona Beach Fire Department said on Friday.
The two people who fell had been in a car that derailed and was left dangling in the air, the fire department said. It was not clear whether the ejected riders were wearing safety belts.
Two other people in the same car were rescued by firefighters who created a pulley system to lower them to the ground, the department said. Local media reports said they were dangling for half an hour, held in place by seat belts, before being rescued.
A second car carrying four riders partly derailed, while the third stayed on the tracks.
Arthur Ellis, 62, a computer technician from Daytona Beach, said on Friday that he saw two men working on the tracks of the Sand Blaster on Thursday morning.
“I’m not sure what they were doing,” said Ellis, who noted that they were in one of the cars that was moving slowly on the elevated tracks.
“I just wanted to report it so the investigators knew that the company had people looking at the tracks in the morning,” he said, adding that the ride was relatively small compared to those at major roller coaster parks.
The ride’s operators could not immediately be reached for comment.
According to the Roller Coaster Data Base, the Sand Blaster was built in 1975 and had been at several amusement parks before it opened in Daytona Beach in 2013.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported that the ride was purchased by a Daytona Beach operator in 2012 from a closed amusement park in Delaware.
The Sand Blaster ride does not include an inversion, during which riders are turned upside-down, according to the database.