6 Riders Hospitalized After Roller Coaster Crash in Florida

Emergency responders rescued 10 riders from a dangling roller coaster car at the Daytona Beach Boardwalk Thursday night. Six people have been hospitalized, including two who fell to the ground from more than 30 feet high. Two patients are in critical condition.

Daytona Beach Fire Department used ladders and a crane to save the trapped riders, slowly ushering them across a bridge to be lowered down to safety.

During the incident, one car completely derailed and two others were stuck around 8:30 p.m. The front car, which held four people, reportedly pointed straight down to the ground and was barely connected to anything aside from the car behind it. Two of the riders in the front car are those who fell to the ground.

The second car contained another four riders, while the third contained two more, said Sasha Staton, a spokeswoman for the Daytona Beach Fire Department.

"Daytona Beach Firefighters did an amazing job tonight rescuing the 10 very frightened passengers on the rollercoaster," Staton said. "They were faced with dangerous conditions as they worked as fast as possible to successfully extricate everyone safely."

The Daytona Beach Fire Department posted photos and videos to its Twitter account showing the dangerous scene and the dangling roller coaster car. One of the videos showed stranded riders being rescued using a ladder.

The 40-year-old roller coaster, the Sand Blaster, opened at the Boardwalk in 2013 after it was purchased in 2012 from a closed amusement park in Delaware.

The coaster stands 85 feet high at its tallest point and has more than a half-mile of track. The three other cars were on a line of track about 30 feet from the ground.

Last February, a stop operation order was imposed on the ride after an inspector from the Department of Agriculture found "numerous problems" with the ride.

On the laundry list of things wrong with the coaster include a warn and damaged handrail, four safety cables not property secured, three damaged braces, a missing brace, 10 damaged deck braces, a damaged seat bracket, two seats not properly secured, corroded fending, cracked supports and damaged lighting fixtures, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.


The Boardwalk's website claims the ride was since repaired, passed inspection and operational once again.

The News-Journal reports that all patients were alert when they were taken to the hospital, although exact conditions and severity of all the injuries are unknown.