DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (CBSNewYork) – Witnesses say they heard a loud boom when a roller coaster derailed in Daytona Beach Thursday night. Two people were ejected and fell 34 feet to the ground. They were injured but both survived.
Fellow visitors at the boardwalk entertainment park ran underneath the dangling cars to help those still trapped in their seats.
“They all ran in and tried to hold her up in the cart and were screaming don’t move, don’t move,” said Landyn Metler, who witnessed the accident.
A tourist said he grabbed heavy duty straps, typically used to hold down cargo, from his truck to help keep the ride from falling any further.
“There was 10 riders on a chain of three cars, two of which fell out to the front car to the ground from an approximate 34 foot height,” said Daytona Beach Fire Department Public Information Officer, Sasha Staton. “The other two were dangling from the front car.”
Eight riders had to be rescued by firefighters while the front of the coaster hung off the track. Some were stuck for more than 30 minutes.
Crews used a fire ladder to guide one woman back to the ground.
Six people were taken to the hospital.
“The riders were frightened,” said Staton. “And the firefighters were doing a great job of trying to make sure everyone stayed calm so the rescue could go off successfully.”
The roller coaster is called The Sand Blaster. It’s been at the park since 2013. It’s a three-car, sit-down ride that operates on a winding steel track.