Dreamworld Theme Park Accident Kills 4, Australian Officials Say.
A spokesperson from Queensland police said they were called the park at Coomera at around 2:20pm on Tuesday, following reports that a number of people had been injured by a conveyor belt on the Thunder River Rapids ride.
Two men and two women died in the incident after the ride “sustained a malfunction causing two people to be ejected,” Gavin Fuller of Queensland Ambulance told reporters at a press conference.
“Another two people were caught inside the ride,” he said.
He confirmed the deceased were aged between 32 and early 40s.
It was previously reported that the four adults had suffered critical injuries.
Craig Davidson, Dreamworld CEO, confirmed the theme park, which is the biggest on Australia’s Gold Coast with 40 rides and attractions and run by entertainment operator Ardent Leisure Group, had been closed.
“Dreamworld is working closely with police and emergency services and authorities to establish the facts around the incident,” he said.
“We are deeply shocked and saddened by this and our hearts and our thoughts go to the families involved and to their loved ones.”
Aerial footage of the park showed paramedics at the Thunder River Rapids ride, which features six-person circular rafts that carry riders along a fast-moving, man-made river.
A witness who was about to go on the ride told AFP that “everyone was screaming” after a raft apparently flipped.
“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,” the witness, who did not wish to be named, said.
Inspector Tod Reid of Queensland Police told reporters at a press conference: “Police along with QIS officers have responded and a crime scene has been established.
“Workplace health and safety officers and the forensic crash unit of the Queensland Police Service are in attendance, along with the state coroner.
“We’re now working together with the park to try and determine how this tragic incident has occurred.”
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,” Mr Tate added on Facebook.