Chil­dren ‘for­tu­nate to sur­vive’ deadly ac­ci­dent at theme park

Po­lice say boy and girl were thrown clear af­ter raft over­turned and killed four adults

China Daily (USA) - - WORLD - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in Syd­ney

Two chil­dren are for­tu­nate to be alive af­ter they were thrown clear and sur­vived an ac­ci­dent that killed their moth­ers and two other peo­ple on a river rapids ride at a pop­u­lar theme park in Aus­tralia, po­lice said onWed­nes­day.

Two men and two women died in the ac­ci­dent on Tues­day at the Dream­world park on Queens­land state’s Gold Coast, Queens­land Po­lice As­sis­tant Com­mis­sion­erBri­anCodd­said.

The 30-year-old Thun­der River Rapids ride whisks peo­ple in cir­cu­lar rafts along a fast-mov­ing, man-made river, with a con­veyor belt help­ing move the rafts through the water. Closed-cir­cuit tele­vi­sion footage showed the ride wasend­ing­whentwo rafts col­lided, Codd said.

A 10-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl were thrown clear as the six-per­son raft over­turned and trapped the adults against the con­veyor belt, he said.

“In terms of how they es­caped, maybe through the prov­i­dence of God or some­body, but it seems from what I’ve seen al­most a mir­a­cle that any­body came out of that,” Codd said. “If we’re go­ing to be thank­ful for any­thing, I’m thank­ful for that.”

The chil­dren had been trau­ma­tized and were be­ing cared for by fam­ily, he said. Brian Codd,

Kim Dorsett, of Can­berra, con­firmed that two of the vic­tims were her chil­dren: Kate Good­child, 32, and Luke Dorsett, 35.

“I have two grand­daugh­ters — an 8-month-old and a 12-year-old — and it truly breaks my heart to know that my 8-month-old is never go­ing to get to know her mum,” she toldThe Courier-Mail news­pa­per.

She said the 12-year-old “is com­pletely dev­as­tated — she is blam­ing her­self for what has hap­pened.”

Kim Dorsett was on a fam­ily va­ca­tion with her chil­dren and Good­child’s daugh­ters from Can­berra. Luke Dorsett’s part­ner, Roozi Araghi, 38, of Can­berra, was also killed.

The boy’s mother was Cindy Low, a42-year-oldNewZealand cit­i­zen who lived in Syd­ney.

Codd said po­lice would in­ves­ti­gate re­ports of prob­lems with the ride ear­lier on Tues­day, as well as main­te­nance Dream­world said the ride had passed its an­nual safety in­spec­tion a month ago.

The park state­ment said it would re­open on Fri­day, but “ac­tiv­i­ties will be lim­ited to smaller rides, an­i­mal at­trac­tions and the water park”.

Thun­der River is con­sid­ered one of Dream­world’s more tame, fam­ily-friendly rides and is open to chil­dren as young as 2. records and pro­ce­dures.

It seems from what I’ve seen al­most a mir­a­cle that any­body came out of that.” Queens­land Po­lice As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner

PA­TRICK HAMIL­TON / AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Lara Vin­cent and her 3-year-old son Xavier lay flow­ers at a trib­ute at the Dream­world theme park on Aus­tralia’s Gold Coast on Wed­nes­day, a day af­ter four peo­ple were killed when a raft flipped over on the Thun­der River Rapids ride.

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