40-Year-Old Daytona Beach Rollercoaster Derails

The Associated Press
Lola Gomez /The Daytona Beach News-Journal via AP

A rollercoaster on the Daytona Boardwalk derailed, leaving six riders hospitalized, with two in critical condition.

The “Sandblaster” derailed at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 14, throwing two passengers over 30 feet down onto the boardwalk. The Daytona Beach Fire Department employed multiple ladders and a crane to rescue people trapped on the rollercoaster. Of the six people hospitalized, two remain in critical condition.

Fox 35 obtained video from the scene. It shows riders hanging perilously, as a man tells them not to move and an unidentified woman aboard the rollercoaster screams.

This is not the beginning of the Sandblaster’s troubles. It was purchased from a closed amusement park in August 2013, but issued an order to cease operation after a February 2017 inspection found “numerous problems.” The issues included 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.

After the report, the Dayton Beach Boardwalk website claimed that the ride had been prepared and restored to normal operation. But if the accident resulting from this dangerous ride had occurred when the rollercoaster reached its 85-foot maximum height, this story might have been far more tragic.


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