The El Toro roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure in Ocean County will remain closed indefinitely for 2022, NJ Advance Media reports. New Jersey inspectors determined the ride was “structurally compromised” after a malfunction last month that injured 14 people.
“Based on initial findings of the ongoing investigation, DCA has deemed these damaged track support columns structurally compromised as it pertains to the continued safe operation of the ride,” Lisa M. Ryan, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Community Affairs said in an email Thursday (Sept. 23). “The El Toro rollercoaster continues to remain shut down and has been placed under engineering review by DCA.”
A spokesman for Six Flags, Gabriel Darretta, told the outlet that a “careful and deliberate review of the entire ride indicates the primary and backup safety systems of the ride ensured the train completed its ride cycle safely.” Darretta expects for the ride to return for the 2023 season but not before it is inspected again.
“Once approved by our engineers, maintenance, and operations professionals, the ride will re-open,” he said. “Every ride at Six Flags is inspected each day prior to opening. Additionally, all rides are inspected in the off-season including non-destructive testing such as x-ray and magnetic particle imaging,” he added. “All manufacturer guidelines for maintenance are followed, at a minimum, with additional requirements as directed by Six Flags’ full-time, credentialed engineers.”
Last month, “several guests reported back pain” after riding the El Toro roller coaster Thursday evening (Aug. 25), per NBC News.
“Five guests were taken to a local medical facility for evaluation.” the spokesperson said. The ride then closed for inspection but the park reopened.
This is not the first time the El Toro roller coaster had malfunctioned. Back in 2021, the ride had to temporarily shut down after a partial derailment, according to NJ Advance Media. No guests were harmed in the previous incident.