CONCORD, N.C. — Charlotte Motor Speedway said 10 fans were injured Sunday at the Coca-Cola 600 and three of them were taken to the hospital after a nylon rope supporting a Fox Sports overhead television camera fell from the grandstands and landed on the track surface.
According to CMS spokeswoman Danielle Frye the three people taken to the hospital had “minor injuries that are not life threatening.” She said seven people were treated with “minor cuts and scrapes” on site and released.
Fox Sports released a statement Sunday night saying it hasn’t determined the cause of the accident and it is suspending use of the camera system indefinitely.
“Our immediate concern is with the injured fans,” Fox said in the statement.
Fox said the camera system consists of three ropes — a drive rope that moves the camera back and forth, and two guide ropes on either side. Fox said it was the drive rope that failed near the first-turn connection and fell to the track.
“The camera itself did not come down because guide ropes acted as designed,” Fox said in the statement. “A full investigation is planned, and use of the camera is suspended indefinitely.”
Fox said it has used the camera system at the Daytona 500, at last week’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star race and other major sporting events.
“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,” Fox said in the statement. “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.”
The incident occurred on lap 121 of the 400-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
The race was delayed for 27 minutes while crews repaired damage to their cars.