At least five people were injured while riding a roller coaster at Six Flags in New Jersey on Thursday evening, police have said.
Six Flags said a number of parkgoers reported injuries at about 7:30 p.m. after riding the El Toro ride. Five were then taken to hospital.
Park officials have closed the ride for inspection, WPVI reports.
In a recording obtained by the station, a 911 responder said: “Nothing came apart when the riders were exiting the cart …something moved on them.”
One woman, who said she was riding on El Toro when the incident took place, said there was a sudden bump which felt like the roller coaster had “hit a pothole.”
Writing on Six Flags Great Adventure fan page, she said she may have chipped a tooth, while several riders bit their tongues.
After the incident the El Toro roller coaster was closed for the remainder of the evening.
A Jackson Township Police Department spokesperson told reporters that those taken to the hospital had minor injuries like “bumps and bruises.”
Audio from Broadcastify revealed several of those hospitalized had back and neck pain, whilst other riders refused medical treatment.
El Toro, a wooden roller coaster reaching speeds of 70 miles per hour, opened to the public in 2006.
According to the Six Flags website, its first 176 feet drop is at a 76-degree angle, the steepest of any wooden-style roller coaster drop in the United States.
El Toro was voted the best wooden coaster in the world by both the 2011 Internet Coaster Poll and Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards in 2017.
The roller coaster was previously closed for inspection by New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs (DCA) in 2021 following a partial derailment, according to Fox News. No park visitors were injured in that incident which saw a carriage get stuck before the “brake run” and thus fail to return to El Toro’s main station, causing the roller coaster to lockdown for three minutes.
Video posted on social media showed a train of six carts stopped before a rise in track height.
Six Flags Great Adventure was later fined $5,000 for failing to properly notify the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) about the incident.
Speaking to NJ Advance Media Lisa Ryan, spokesperson for the DCA, said her agency should have been notified about the incident via a special phone hotline.
She added: “A written incident report must be submitted to DCA within 24 hours. Six Flags did not provide DCA with immediate notification of the derailment.”