JACKSON, N.J. (PIX11) — More than a dozen people were hurt while riding a roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey Thursday evening, officials said.
Six Flags Great Adventure notified the NJ Department of Community Affairs, via its amusement ride incident hotline, that witnesses reported hearing a loud bang and seeing a jolting of the El Toro train while customers were on the ride, a DCA spokesperson told PIX11 News in an updated statement on Friday.
Fourteen people were injured, per DCA. Five people were taken to the hospital. One person suffered a neck injury, two had back injuries and two had mouth and tongue injuries, according to DCA.
Among the injured were the children and cousins of a woman from Long Island who contacted PIX11 News via email. She asked that her name not be used, but she said that the incident was unnerving for the children and the parents.
“Everyone was crying and panicked,” she wrote. “People couldn’t breath(e) and [there was] blood from one girl’s mouth who bit her tongue! It was extremely scary…”
The children she had brought to the amusement park and put on the ride “described it as if they hit a pothole and got jerked very hard forward and back — causing bad neck and back pain!” she wrote.
Her description is consistent with Six Flags’ description of the incident, which it reported to the DCA.
The agency instructed Six Flags Great Adventure to shut down the ride. A spokesperson for Six Flags confirmed Thursday night that El Toro was closed for inspection.
The cause of the incident remained unclear. DCA ride inspectors returned to the park on Friday to continue their investigation.
There have been a number of incidents at the Six Flags location in recent years. In 2020, guests were briefly stuck on rides during a short power outage.
Editor’s note: A DCA spokesperson initially indicated there were 14 people treated at the park and five people were taken to the hospital but later clarified that the total number of people injured was 14. The story has been updated.