Accident on Six Flags' Intense El Toro Roller Coaster Injures 13 Riders
Thirteen people were injured while riding a wooden roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park in Jackson Township, New Jersey, on Thursday, WPVI-TV in Philadelphia reported.
The incident happened about 7:30 p.m. when the park visitors’ ride on El Toro — one of the fastest and tallest wooden coasters in the world — was ending, according to WNBC-TV in New York.
While WNBC and others described it as a ride “malfunction,” there was no official confirmation of that early Friday.
“Several guests reported back pain after riding El Toro this evening,” Six Flags spokesman Gabriel Darretta said Thursday, according to the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey. “Five guests were taken to a local medical facility for evaluation.
“The ride is closed for inspection.”
The theme park reported the incident to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, which said witnesses heard a “loud bang” and saw “jolting” from the coaster as it was in operation, WPVI reported.
It said the DCA reported that two people suffered back injuries, one had a neck injury and two others were being treated for mouth and tongue injuries.
WPVI’s Chopper 6 observed several ambulances around the base of the wooden roller coaster after the incident.
According to WNBC, the New Jersey DCA ordered Six Flags to keep the coaster shut down with inspectors scheduled to arrive on Friday morning.
This isn’t the first closure of El Toro. In June 2021, a train stopped short of the braking run with the rear wheels of one car off the track in a partial derailment, according to Patch.com. No one was injured in that incident, but the ride was shut down for months.
Multiple injuries on El Toro is not what you want to hear after the ride’s issue last year at Six Flags Great Adventure. #ElToro #SixFlags https://t.co/lhzone0aW0
— Steve Feitl (@SteveFeitl) August 26, 2022
The roller coaster — which is 4,400 feet long and stands 19 stories tall — is a centerpiece of the park’s Spanish-themed Plaza de Carnaval area, according to SixFlags.com.
Riders experience a first drop of 176 feet at a 76-degree down angle that accelerates the train to approximately 70 miles per hour.
“There is a reason El Toro was voted the #1 Wooden Coaster in the World by the 2011 Internet Coaster Poll, and again in 2017 by Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards,” the theme park’s site said.
The New York Post reported that a woman who rode El Toro on Thursday evening said “it felt like [the coaster] hit a pothole” after the third drop.
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