JACKSON — A section of the El Toro roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure was found to need repair following an incident Thursday night that has kept the ride closed since.

Nineteen people were injured including five who were hospitalized for treatment of a neck injury, two for back injuries, and two for mouth and tongue injuries, according to the state Department of Community Affairs, which inspects and regulates amusements.

DCA spokeswoman Tammori Petty-Dixon said witnesses reported "hearing a loud bang and seeing a jolting of the El Toro train during operation."

A visitor to Six Flags Great Adventure on Monday said the Plaza del Carnival section of the park where El Toro is located is closed off. No activity was observed on the 19-story wooden coaster.

El Toro roller coaster at SIx Flags Great Adventure in Jackson
El Toro roller coaster at SIx Flags Great Adventure in Jackson (Six Flags Great Adventure)
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Multiple inspections before reopening

Six Flags spokesman Gabriel Daretta said that the park's initial review of the ride indicates the primary and back-up safety systems of the ride made sure the train completed its ride cycle safely.

"Experts discovered a section of the ride sub-structure that requires repair. The ride will remain closed to complete the review and make necessary repairs," Daretta said.

When repairs are complete the ride will be inspected again by the park and the DCA as well as an independent ride safety expert.

"Once approved by our engineers, maintenance, and operations professionals, the ride will reopen," Daretta said.

He did not disclose a timetable for the repairs and eventual reopening.

Petty-Dixon said the department's investigation is "currently active" and had no additional comment.

El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure
El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure (Six Flags Great Adventure)
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"Pothole" problems on El Toro

Holly Cole on the Great Adventure Connoisseurs Facebook page wrote that it felt like the ride hit a pothole after the third drop before the ride turns around.

An unidentified Six Flags worker told CBS New York the park is aware of the pothole but maintenance cannot make a permanent fix.

The ride reopened this season after a partial derailment in June 2021 and failed to return to the station.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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