Friday, June 15, 2018

The derailed Daytona Beach rollercoaster that injured six people passed an inspection that same day

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 11:28 AM

A chaotic scene erupted on the Daytona Beach Boardwalk when a rollercoaster derailed Thursday night.

Ten people were on the ride when the Sand Blaster Coaster suddenly went off track. Two were ejected from the front coaster car and fell 34 feet to the ground, and six were transported to the hospital, according to officials. Daytona Beach firefighters used rescue equipment to help riders get down to safety.

According to a statement from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which is run by Adam Putnam, the coaster passed a state inspection the very same day that it derailed.

The extent of the riders' injuries and their current conditions are not known at this time, but the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported that all patients were alert while being loaded onto ambulances.

The 40-year-old coaster opened on the Boardwalk in August 2013. It was the first rollercoaster in the Boardwalk's history, according to the News-Journal. At the time, Boardwalk ride owners Stad Manousus and Ed Kennedy said they had invested more than $1 million in the ride.

But in February of 2017, a state inspector found more than a dozen safety violations, including damaged braces and cracked supports. Just a month later, they were hit with additional city code violations.

Investigators are working to determine why the Sand Blaster derailed. "First and foremost, we’re concerned about the individuals who were injured last night, " said Jennifer Meale, communications director for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

"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."

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