A roller coaster car derailed Thursday night at the Daytona Beach Boardwalk. The Daytona Beach Fire Department rescued a total of 10 riders.
Riders were “extricated” from the dangling car, officials said. Six people were taken to the hospital. The extent of their injuries is unknown. Fire officials said that two of the riders fell out of the thrill ride car to the ground from 34 feet.
According to local media, state officials from the Florida Department of Agriculture “spent the day trying to figure out” what went wrong when a roller coaster car went off its tracks. And, it turns out that the derailment occured just hours after the thrill ride had cleared an inspection, Florida agriculture officials confirmed.
WFTV reported that a Daytona Beach police report read that a “car in the front slid off the tracks and was hanging on the side of the ride, while the car in the middle was off the tracks and the last car was stationary on the tracks.”
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services posted a statement on the incident: “First and foremost, we’re concerned about the individuals who were injured last night. Their well-being and recovery is of the utmost importance. Just yesterday, department inspectors conducted a thorough inspection of the ride, and it was found in compliance with state law. We have launched an investigation to determine the cause of the accident, and anyone who should be held accountable will be held accountable.”
According to WFTV, a list of victims included four people visiting from the UK. Patient conditions from Halifax Health Medical Center were not immediately available. Authorities Thursday night said 10 were rescued; nine were treated at Halifax. Police were given a list of victim names but those were not released as of this post.
Police said an individual phoned authorities to say he’d “seen maintenance workers working on the tracks earlier in the day.” Another witness told local media they’d seen the car derail: “”I just thought it was part of the ride, because we were kind of far away. And then we heard a big bang and people screaming like they were hurt.”
“It was barely hanging on by a thread,” the witness said and firefighters confirmed Thursday night during their rescue efforts.
The Daytona Beach Boardwalk features thrill rides, amusements, gift shops, snack bars, restaurants, and a classic arcade. Off A1A, the “sky-high thrill rides” are visible. Dubbed the world’s most famous beach, the thrill rides are located at Screamer’s Park, which is open seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Here’s a video posted of the Sand Blaster roller coaster operating as it should.
On its Twitter account, the Daytona Beach Fire Department thanked Dayton Beach Police, Volusia EMS, and the South Daytona Fire Department for assistance in roller coaster incident.