A Derailed Roller Coaster in Florida Sends Six People to the Hospital
A roller coaster at Daytona Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park derailed on Thursday, causing two riders to fall 34 feet to the ground, The Daytona Beach Fire Department tweeted. The fire department used a ladder to rescue 10 people from the dangling cart. Ultimately, six theme park guests were sent to the hospital. The extent of the injuries remains unknown.
According to the Daytona Beach News Journal, the 85-foot coaster, called the Sand Blaster, opened on the boardwalk in 2013. The ride, however, was purchased from a shuttered amusement park in Delaware in 2012. It's approximately 40 years old.
The AP received state inspection reports on Friday and discovered the ride was out of service last month after inspectors found excessive corrosion, a damaged seat and a crack in the track. According to the reports the ride passed inspection hours before the cart derailed.
“We have launched an investigation to determine the cause of the accident, and anyone who should be held accountable will be held accountable,” said Jennifer Meale, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Communications Director.
Amusement parks are a billion dollar industry: In 2011, theme parks, amusement parks and water parks generated around $55.4 billion in the United States, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.
If you're one of the 38 million people who visits amusement parks each year, you might be wondering how likely you are to be injured. The chance of experiencing a serious injury related to amusement park attractions is one in 17 million — so there's a greater chance you could be struck by lightening.
In 2016, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, 30,000 people ended up in the emergency room from amusement park related injuries, CNN reports. The IAAPA reports that amusement park-related injury rates are declining; there were roughly 300 fewer injuries in 2016 compared to 2015. Stats for 2017 have not yet been released.
However, researchers say there is no real way to track how many people are hurt or killed by the attractions each year, NBC reports. Additionally, there is no state or federal agency responsible for ensuring amusement park safety. The CPSC only has authority over mobile amusement rides — not control over larger amusement parks.
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