The June 14, 2018, Sand Blaster roller coaster derailment sent two people seventeen feet down to the ground and left other riders dangling or stuck on the roller coaster until they were rescued by firefighters. Florida inspectors and independent engineers reported that excessive speed and damage to the track and axle systems were the chief causes of the accident that left several riders badly injured. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Consumer Services, Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection, Preliminary Investigative Summary of July 10, 2018, found that although the ride failed a May 17, 2018 and May 31, 2018 inspection which showed numerous safety concerns, the problems were not contributing factors in the June 14, 2018, accident. The May 2018 failed inspection points included excessive corrosion, carrier tubs not properly secured, bent and cracked bracing, an electrical problem, damaged fencing and handrails, and damaged nuts and bolts. In June, engineers found evidence that the roller coaster cars had traveled too quickly many times, causing the wheels to lift off the track.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has statewide responsibility to inspect all amusement rides in Florida, except for those at large parks that have more than 1,000 employees and have full-time inspectors on staff… All temporary amusement rides are inspected each time they are moved or set up at a new location, and permanent rides are inspected semiannually. All amusement rides are required to be permitted annually by FDACS, are required to undergo nondestructive testing for structural integrity, and must have an annual inspection by a professional engineer or qualified inspector.
The June 2018 accident occurred when the front car derailed on the second level of the track, 17 feet above the ground. Ten people were on the ride and two of them were ejected from the front car.
Continued maintenance of an amusement park is critical to the safety of park visitors and employees. An accident and safety expert in the amusement park industry can provide an expert opinion on premises liability, safety, engineering, and overall design and operations of an amusement park. These experts are knowledgeable in codes, compliance, failure analysis, and equipment failure. Contact ForensisGroup to locate a highly trained accident and safety expert witness.