- The Washington Times - Friday, August 26, 2022

Five guests were hospitalized and 14 injured after riding the “El Toro” coaster at the Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park in Jackson Township, New Jersey.

Coaster enthusiast Holly Cole posted in a Facebook group for fans of the park about her experience just after getting off the ride Thursday night.

“It felt like it hit a pothole after the 3rd drop before it turns around. 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. No trains have been dispatched since,” Ms. Cole’s post reads.

Several people reported back pain, with 14 people total treated on-site at the park. Five people were hospitalized for minor neck, back, tongue and mouth injuries.

“Several guests reported back pain after riding El Toro this evening. Five guests were taken to a local medical facility for evaluation. The ride is closed for inspection,” Six Flags spokesperson Gabriel Darretta told the Asbury Park Press.

After the incident, the coaster was shut down shortly before the park closed Thursday night.

New Jersey regulators will be looking into the injurious malfunction.

“Regulators from New Jersey’s Department of Consumer Affairs ordered Six Flags to keep the ride shut down, and inspectors will be on-site Friday to investigate,” the department said in a statement to New York’s WNBC-TV.

El Toro has daunting dimensions for a wooden coaster.

“Ride [El Toro] up nearly 19 stories to face the first terrifying drop of 176 feet. At a 76 degree angle, that would be the steepest drop of any wooden-style roller coaster in the country. … You will zoom through the course at a whopping 70 miles per hour,” the coaster’s description reads on the Six Flags Great Adventure website. 

• Brad Matthews can be reached at bmatthews@washingtontimes.com.

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