Tragedy at Australian theme park as four people are CRUSHED to death on Thunder River Rapids
Four adults were killed in an accident at Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast, in Queensland
A raft from the Thunder River Rapids ride reportedly flipped over with six people on board on Tuesday
Two people were ejected from the raft and another two were trapped underneath
Two men and two women, aged between 32 to early 40s, died at the scene
Four people have died after a raft flipped off a river rapids ride at Dreamworld theme park in Australia.
The Thunder River Rapids ride suffered a ‘malfunction’ which caused two people to be thrown from the six-person raft and two people to be trapped in its conveyor belt on Tuesday.
Two men and two women between the ages of 32 and 40 died on the family ride, which is open to children as young as two, on the Gold Coast in Queensland.
Witnesses said the accident was horrific and happened as the ride was coming to an end.
‘My sister and niece were in the ride, they were so traumatised, there is a woman hanging by her foot, crushed from the ride,’ one witness told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
The front of the ride’s raft is understood to have flipped as it inclined, Queensland Ambulance spokesman Gavin Fuller said.
Emergency services rushed to the popular tourist and family destination shortly after 2pm and the park was completely evacuated by 4pm.
Another witness, Leah Capes, told The Gold Coast Bulletin she was sitting near the ride’s entrance when people waiting in line started running out.
‘The kids and people in there were screaming,’ she said.
‘There were heaps of people crying, it all happened so fast.’
Six people are understood to have been on the raft, but two managed to escape.
‘One of the rides has sustained some sort of malfunction, causing two people to be ejected, two caught, two males and two females,’ Mr Fuller said.
‘They sustained injuries incompatible with life.’
Mr Fuller said no efforts could save the victims and ambulance staff will receive counselling.
Dreamworld staff drained water from the ride in an attempt to save the trapped passengers and treated those injured before paramedics arrived.
Police have used a drone to investigate the scene.
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.
New Zealander Lisa Walker also said she was on the ride only 10 or 15 minutes before the accident. She told The Guardian: ‘We were around the area afterwards and saw people coming out very distressed. We saw a lady and a man run back who must have had family in there.’
CEO of the themepark, Craig Davidson, said the team is ‘deeply shocked and saddened by this and our hearts and our thoughts go to the families involved and to their loved ones’.
A similar Dreamworld ride called Rocky Hollow Log Ride was shut down in April for a weekend after a man almost drowned, according to The Courier Mail.
A Queensland Ambulance spokeswoman said at the time the man swallowed water after he fell from the ride.