Six Flags roller coaster shutdown after malfunction injured 14 in New Jersey


The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has ordered the El Toro roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure in Ocean County shut down until further notice after 14 people were hurt on the amusement ride.

The 19-story tall wooden coaster malfunctioned about 7:30 p.m. Thursday as the Jackson Township park prepared to close, officials said.

Fourteen people were treated for injuries, with five taken to a local hospital, according to Tammori C. Petty-Dixon, spokeswoman for the DCA.

Medical complaints included one person with a neck injury, two with back injuries, and two for mouth and tongue injuries requiring further treatment, Petty-Dixon said in a statement.

“Witnesses reported hearing a loud bang and seeing a jolting of the El Toro train during operation,” Petty-Dixon said Friday morning.

In a statement, a spokesman for Six Flags said the injured riders who were taken to a hospital have all been released.

“The ride will remain closed for inspection. Any maintenance and repairs necessary will be completed and the ride will be re-inspected by our engineers, maintenance professionals, our third-party independent safety inspectors and the state of New Jersey prior to re-opening,” the statement said.

Holly Cole, a fitness instructor who was on the ride, said people complained of being hurt after the train “felt like it hit a pothole.”

“A lot of people said they bit their tongue. A few said their backs were hurting and a couple of people said they couldn’t breathe for a bit. I thought I might have cracked a tooth,” Cole wrote in a Facebook post.

Ride inspectors who work for the state were at the park on Friday to investigate the incident, Petty-Dixon said.

“DCA instructed Six Flags Great Adventure to shut down the ride. There is no further information as to the cause of the incident at the present moment,” she said.

The incident was the second time in a little over a year that the El Toro ride has been ordered shut down.

The roller coaster partially derailed on June 29, 2021, after a train on the ride failed to return to the station after it stopped a few yards before the “brake run.” The ride was locked down three minutes later before it was cleared.

A Six Flags spokesperson previously said guests were on the ride at the time and there were no injuries.

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect the number of people who reported injuries.


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