El Toro riders share fears after 5 hurt at Six Flags Great Adventure

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Thrill-seekers who rode El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure flooded social media with their own horror stories after learning that five people had been hospitalized.

And insiders who say they work at Six Flags have sounded the alarm about turnover among employees who inspect attractions at all Six Flags, including the park in Jackson, NJ, as The Post reported.

Several riders complained of back pain and five were taken to hospital after riding the 19-story wooden roller coaster on Thursday night.

El Toro riders reported that the ride was so jarring that they broke their teeth and bit their tongues.

After the news broke, a parent described the roller coaster as the “roughest ride I’ve ever experienced” in a Reddit post about a July 18 visit, adding that “my 10-year-old was sick for hours on end as a result.”

Another parent wrote on Reddit, “The last 2 times my son rode it — last week and last month — he came home the next day and complained of muscle recoil.”

“Running this last week for the first time in a few years – both my kid and I left seeing stars. Such a shame as it was always intense, but never painful. It needs some serious TLC,” wrote one third parent on the social media site.

Riders complained of El Toro’s back injuries at Six Flags Great Adventure.
WVPIA

After the El Toro incident, a Reddit user who claimed to work in the maintenance department wrote that the company is “going through an insane staff shortage”, adding that “many of the team members who [at El Toro] have been trained recently or don’t ride often so they don’t [really] know the drive as well as how to operate it and what to do during breakdown procedures.”

Other insiders on Reddit said the Arlington, Texas-based company is struggling to hire and retain experienced driver technicians to inspect and maintain its equipment, The Post reported.

“It’s getting harder and harder to hire a skilled workforce to maintain our infrastructure and rides,” wrote one Reddit user who claims to be a Six Flags employee earlier this month. “At the moment we only hire agencies to fill the vacancies, and that is not good. Security will suffer.”

Six Flags did not respond to requests for comment about the ride or allegations of staff shortages.

El Toro at night with emergency vehicles underneath.
Six Flags’ El Toro ride partially derailed last year and had just reopened in April.
WVPIA

Last year, El Toro partially derailed when the rear wheels of the rear car hit the track. Six Flags was fined $5,000 for failing to notify the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs by phone immediately after the incident, according to a report by NJ.com.

Selim Bassoul
Selim Bassoul was named chief executive of Six Flags in November 2021.
Takreme

The ride reopened in April, but now remains closed as the state investigates the latest incident.

“All necessary maintenance and repairs will be completed and the ride will be re-inspected by our engineers, maintenance professionals, our outside independent safety inspectors and the State of New Jersey before reopening,” a Six Flags spokesperson told the Asbury Park Press. on Friday.

The incident is just the latest setback for the company, whose new CEO, Selim Bassoul, sparked controversy this month during a profit call when he said the parks had become “cheap daycare centers for teens.”

Bassoul has raised prices in the 27 parks, angering old season pass holders who say nothing has been improved in the parks to earn such walks. The company also disclosed that it had lost nearly 2 million customers this year, largely due to higher prices.

Bassoul says he wants to increase the quality of the customer visiting the parks and discourage “noisy” teens from attending.

Shares of the company fell more than 7% on Friday afternoon.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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