People love roller coasters. The tight turns and fast drops push adrenaline and make you feel alive. They’re supposed to make you feel like you are cheating death. You aren’t supposed to actually cheat death, as riders did when their beach-side carnival coaster left the rails and sent the flying more than 30 feet to the ground.
The derailment happened at the Daytona Beach Boardwalk Thursday night. The Sandblaster, as the ride is called, suffered a catastrophic failure. The car came off the rails 34 feet up. Two riders in the front car were thrown to the ground below.
“Daytona Beach Fire Department rushed to the scene, where they were seen using ladders and a crane to save several other trapped carnival-goers,” The Daily Mail writes, “slowly but surely ushering them across a bridge to be lowered down to safety.”
Ten people had to be rescued from the ride. While one car dangled from the rails, two others were stuck behind it. Six of the riders were transported to the hospital, two of those remain in critical condition.
The riders who were stuck up on the ride were there for more than half an hour as the fire department worked to transport the injured.
Like many carnival amusements, the Sandblaster is not new. It has been at the boardwalk since 2013, exposed the constant battering of salt and sand.The 40 year old ride was bought from another carnival when it shut down.
“In February 2017, the Sandblaster had a stop operation order imposed on it after an inspector from the Department of Agriculture found ‘numerous problems’ with the ride,” The Daily Mail writes.
“The inspection report […] listed a worn and damaged handrail, four safety cables not properly secured, three worn and damaged braces, a missing brace, 10 worn and damaged deck braces, a damaged seat bracket, two seats not properly secured, corroded fencing, cracked supports and damaged lighting fixtures.”
It did pass inspection, though, before it reopened.