Four Confirmed Dead at Australian Theme Park

dreamworld_accidentFour people died after an accident on the Thunder River Rapids ride – a water based raft ride using conveyor belt – at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast in Australia Today.
The victims, two men and two women, aged between 32 and 40 became trapped on a conveyor belt at the theme park after their raft flipped on the Thunder River Rapids ride on Tuesday afternoon.
Queensland Ambulance spokesman Gavin Fuller said, “The front of the ride’s raft is understood to have flipped as it inclined”
“One of the rides has sustained some sort of malfunction, causing two people to be ejected, two caught, two males and two females,
“They sustained injuries incompatible with life.”
Six people were in the ride, two riders were understood to be trapped by the underwater conveyor belt after the ride in front up-ended and two people were trapped in the raft. Two other riders were understood to have escaped.
The water from the ride was drained in an effort to save the people and staff attempted to render first aid before paramedics arrived.
Theme park goers witnessed the tragedy.
“My sister and niece were on the ride, they are so traumatised, there is a woman hanging by her foot, crushed from the ride,” said one person.
Another witness Leah Capes said she was waiting near the ride entrance when people came running from the rapid ride line.
“The kids and people in there were screaming,” she said.
“It all happened so quickly,” said a shaken Ms Capes of Varsity Lakes.
“There were heaps of people crying, it all happened so fast”
Shocked US Olympic gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz said he had been on the ride just a few minutes before the accident.
“Dude, just got off a ride 15 mins ago that has 1 person seriously injured and 2 others trapped,” he wrote on Twitter.
The Mayor of Gold Coast Tom Tate issued a statement expressing the community’s shock at the incident.
“This is a very sad day for our city,” Tate said.
“Our thoughts are with the families of those affected – and the emergency staff in attendance.”
“We’re all deeply shocked and saddened by this,” Mr Craig Davidson CEO of Dreamworld also said. “We will work closely with police and emergency authorities in this matter.”
Thousands of shocked patrons flooded from the park after it was closed in the aftermath of the accident.
A coroner will investigate and police have established a crime scene at the park. There will also be a workplace health and safety investigation.
Owners Ardent Leisure announced the park would be closed on Wednesday, while their shares fell 7 per cent on news of the tragedy


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