Roller coasters are designed to be scary. That's the point. They mimic the sensation of dropping to your death without actually putting you in harm's way—or that's how it's supposed to be, at least.
On Thursday night, riders on a Florida roller coaster found themselves in a legitimately terrifying scene straight out of Final Destination when the coaster derailed and sent people plummeting more than 30 feet to the ground, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.
According to the News-Journal, everything completely went to shit at around 8:30 PM, when the Daytona Beach Boardwalk coaster, the Sandblaster, malfunctioned. The coaster's front car broke free of its rails and shot off the side of the track, held dangling in mid-air by the back cars.
"I just saw it fall off," a witness explained to WFTV. "I just thought it was part of the ride, because we were kind of far away. And then we heard a big bang and people screaming like they were hurt."
"It was barely hanging on by a thread," the witness went on. "It looked like it could have snapped off at any point. It looked like plastic was literally holding it."
Ten people were on the ride when it malfunctioned. Two toppled out of the car when it derailed and dropped 34 feet to the pavement below. According to a 911 call, one girl was left clinging to the coaster until rescuers could get to the scene. Firefighters eventually responded and six people have been hospitalized but, thankfully, no deaths have been reported.
A 2017 article from the News-Journal reports that a safety inspector slapped the Sandblaster roller coaster with a stop operation order in February of last year after finding a series of safety violations including "four safety cables not properly secured" and "cracked supports," among others. It's still unclear why the Sandblaster derailed Thursday, but state inspectors are currently investigating whether the coaster was properly maintained.
Regardless of what caused it, the whole thing is still a complete nightmare. Between this and the overwhelming amount of terrible shit happening on airplanes lately, it's probably best if we all just collectively agree to stay on the ground for a while.
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