Four killed in Aussie theme park ac­ci­dent

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

SYD­NEY: Four peo­ple were killed at a theme park on Aus­tralia’s pop­u­lar Gold Coast yes­ter­day, po­lice said, with wit­nesses de­scrib­ing how “ev­ery­one was scream­ing” af­ter a raft ap­par­ently flipped on a mal­func­tion­ing wa­ter ride.

The Dream­world park, which has over 40 rides and at­trac­tions, said at least three died, but po­lice said four were dead.

“I am able to con­firm at this point that four adults have lost their lives as a re­sult of the in­ci­dent,” Queens­land po­lice spokesman Todd Reid said, adding the ac­ci­dent hap­pened on the Thun­der River Rapids ride.

Queens­land am­bu­lance of­fi­cial Gavin Fuller said the vic­tim were two men and two women, aged be­tween 32 and early 40s. Their na­tion­al­i­ties were not re­vealed.

The ride, which car­ries cir­cu­lar rafts that can ac­com­mo­date six per­sons, “sus­tained some sort of mal­func­tion, caus­ing two peo­ple to be ejected from the ride, an­other two peo­ple were caught in­side the ride”, Fuller said.

The Gold Coast Bul­letin said wa­ter was drained from the at­trac­tion in an ef­fort to save the peo­ple trapped, but to no avail.

Dream­world, which opened in 1981, said in a state­ment that it was “work­ing as quickly as pos­si­ble to es­tab­lish the facts around the in­ci­dent and is work­ing closely with emer­gency au­thor­i­ties and po­lice to do this”.

“Dream­world’s fo­cus and pri­or­ity is with the fam­i­lies of those in­volved in this tragedy and will be pro­vid­ing an up­date to the pub­lic as soon as in­for­ma­tion be­comes avail­able.”

The park was closed and will re­main shut to­day.

A wit­ness who was about to go on the ride said “ev­ery­one was scream­ing” af­ter a raft ap­par­ently flipped.

“We saw (a) lit­tle girl and we be­lieve it was her mum be­cause it was just her and her lit­tle sis­ter that was an in­fant,” Lia Capes told the Aus­tralian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion.

“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.”

An­other wit­ness, who did not want to be named, told the Gold Coast Bul­letin: “My sis­ter and niece were on the ride, they are so trau­ma­tised, there is a wo­man hang­ing by her foot, crushed from the ride.”

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 45kph through the tur­bu­lent rapids”. – AFP

Emer­gency ser­vices per­son­nel ex­am­ine a ride in­side the Dream­world park yes­ter­day.

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