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Ten fans were injured during the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Guide ropes for a television camera fell onto the race track, damaging several cars and bringing out a lengthy red flag, and pieces of that rope also injured the fans, who were in the in the Turn 4 grandstand.
The Speedway issued the following statement: “Ten fans were injured when a nylon rope fell over the grandstands in Turn 4 on lap 121 of tonight’s race. Seven fans were treated for minor cuts and scrapes at on-site care centers and released. Three people were transported to an area hospital for further evaluation. The rope was a guide for the network television CamCat overhead camera system.”
We will update with more details as they become available.
10:00 PM UPDATE: So far, officials have not been able to determine the cause of the failure. According to an official release, the system consists of three ropes, including a drive rope which moves the camera back and forth, and two guide ropes. The drive rope failed and fell onto the racing surface. The camera itself did not fall. FOX plans to suspend use of this camera system, which was used during the Daytona 500 and All-Star race, until they complete an investigation of the failure.
Fox issued the following in their statement: “We certainly regret that the system failure affected tonight’s event; we apologize to the racers whose cars were damaged, and our immediate concern is for the race fans. We also offer a sincere ‘thank you’ to the staff at CMS for attending to the injuries and keeping us informed on this developing situation.”
12:40 AM UPDATE: Though pravacy laws prevent officials from discussing the specific nature of any injuries, it was reported that the three fans who were transported to a local hospital have all been treated and released.
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