On August 25, 2022, at approximately 7:30 p.m., El Toro, an Intamin wooden coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, encountered an incident that sent at least five people to the hospital.
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According to some reports, all injuries seemed to be minor scrapes and bruises, with responders examining guests for back, neck, and a few mouth injuries on-site, and five electing to be transported to a hospital for additional evaluation.
Moreover, rider and off-ride testimony indicates that while the ride did complete its cycle, a rough area or pothole somewhere along the track left some riders in great discomfort due to the force of the hit. There was even a loud “bang” reported – this appears to be an issue with El Toro‘s track at the moment.
This is the second serious safety incident on El Toro within the past 14 months, following a derailment on June 29, 2021. The ride’s trains partially derailed at the ride’s conclusion, resulting in its closure for the remainder of the 2021 park season. No injuries were reported during the derailment last year. This year’s event resulted in injuries despite the fact that the ride returned to the station.
El Toro is currently closed for additional research with no confirmed reopening window. Given that this is the second incident in such a short amount of time, it is logical to conclude that the ride need a significant makeover. Possibly a process that could take several years.
When compared to other roller coasters that are similar to El Toro, this does not appear to be a unique problem. Several of the five prefabricated wooden roller coasters on the market (four designed by Intamin and one by Gerstlauer) have experienced tracking troubles, and several have even undergone complete overhauls. Our experience on the Mammut Wooden Coaster at Erlebnispark Tripsdrill was painful owing to the poor quality of the track. Colossos in Heide Park closed in July of 2016 and did not reopen until nearly three years later, in the spring of 2019, following a substantial repair and track renovation. Balder at Liseberg is currently undergoing a comparable restoration and track work and will be closed for the duration of the 2022 season.
the future of El Toro is mere speculation at this point, but the odds of the ride remaining closed through the end of 2022 and well into 2023 are high. Be sure to weigh in on our social media accounts and tell what you think (or what you would like to be) the final outcome.