Tragedy at Australian theme park as four people are CRUSHED to death on Thunder River Rapids


Tragedy at Australian theme park as four people are CRUSHED to death on Thunder River Rapids when water ride flips over.

Tragedy at Australian theme park as four people are CRUSHED to death on Thunder River Rapids when water ride flips over.

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
The Thunder River Rapids ride is described as a family-friendly ‘white water rafting’ experience.

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, Lia Capes, told the ABC that she was just about to go on the ride when she saw people running out, crying.

‘I was speaking to one of the guys and he said it was the raft or the boat thing in front of him, the whole thing flipped and everyone was screaming,’ Capes said.

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.

The Thunder River Rapids ride is described as a family-friendly ‘white water rafting’ experience, where people ‘travel down a foamy water track past the Gold Rush Country, speeding up to 45 kph through the turbulent rapids’.

Children over two years old are allowed to go on the ride with an adult and riders sit on circular rafts that can seat six people.

Dreamworld is Australia’s largest theme park, and features what it calls the biggest and fastest thrills rides in the country. It is run by entertainment operator Ardent Leisure Group.

Shares in the company dropped 7 per cent after the incident.

Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate said it was a ‘very sad day for our city’.

‘Our thoughts are with the families of those affected – and the emergency staff in attendance… A truly sad day for all,’ Tate added on Facebook.

A coroner will investigate and police have established a crime scene at the park. There will also be a workplace health and safety investigation.

Visitor Kaylah Walker, 25, and her mother Lisa, claimed the Thunder River Rapids ride was not working earlier on Tuesday.

‘Earlier in the day it had broken down,’ Lisa told Sydney Morning Herald.

‘It had broken down and we went back a couple of times to this particular ride.

However, Todd Reid, Inspector Regional Duty Officer, would not confirm witness reports the ride had been faulty.

‘Dreamworld is working as quickly as possible to establish the facts around the incident and is working closely with emergency authorities and police to do this,’ a Dreamworld spokesperson said.

Three Worksafe Queensland inspectors are at the scene and the park is closed until further notice.

Australian Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said: ‘This is a very very sad and tragic event. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives.

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