May 6, 2021

Australia: Fatal incident at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast

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POLICE have confirmed the devastating theme park accident that killed four people at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast was caught on CCTV, as investigations into the tragedy continue.
Working throughout the night, police have been combing the CCTV footage for clues as to what led the Thunder River Rapids ride to “malfunction” and cause the horror crash at about 2:20pm Queensland time on Tuesday.
Queensland Police Inspector Tod Reid said the “complex retrieval” of the bodies will take several hours and involve heavy equipment.
Gavin Fuller of Queensland Ambulance said two of the victims were “ejected” after a “malfunction” on the ride. Theme park staff were trying to help them when paramedics arrived — but Mr Fuller said their injuries were so severe they were “incompatible with living”.
The victims have been named as Kate Goodchild, 32, her brother Luke Dorsett, his partner Roozi Araghi and a 42-year-old woman who remains unknown.
Kate and Luke’s mother Kim Dorsett, told The Courier Mail she is “absolutely devastated” following the accident that left her grandchildren without their mother.
“We are just devastated, absolutely devastated,” she said.
“I have three children and have lost two of them today — my whole family has been wiped out.
“I have two granddaughters — an eight-month-old and a 12-year-old — and it truly breaks my heart to know that my eight-month-old is never going to get to know her mum.”

The family were visiting Queensland from Canberra when the decided to visit Dreamworld. Ms Dorsett said her granddaughter was “distraught” at the loss of her mother.
Mr Fuller said responders had been “deeply affected” by what they had seen and would be offered counselling.

FIVE SECONDS FROM SAFETY

The four people killed in a horrific accident on a Dreamworld ride were just five seconds from safety when the craft flipped, giving them injuries “incompatible with living”.
Witnesses have told how they tried to comfort a young girl who was left screaming as disaster shattered the funpark atmosphere.
“She just kept screaming ‘Where’s Mummy? Where’s Mummy?” witness Claire Wooley said.
“We tried to comfort her, but she was so emotional it was hard.”
“We were in tears ourselves and she was just hysterical.”
A former Dreamworld staffer who has worked at the park for more than a decade told the Gold Coast Bulletin the six-seater craft had nearly finished the ride when it hit an empty raft ahead and flipped.
“If you ever saw a doughnut being made at Donut King, they have a conveyor belt at the end that the doughnuts go up to dry off,” he said.
“It’s exactly the same thing … It just takes them from the water in the bottom to the unloading point at the end.”
Witnesses who rode the ride earlier in the day expressed concern about the velcro seatbelt that was holding them in. Melbourne father Jesse Lovett said he did not feel secure holding his two-year-old daughter on his lap.
“It’s so rough and you had to hold it really tight,” he told news.com.au. “It was my favourite ride and now with my daughter I was pretty scared to go on it.”
“All that was holding her in securely was me. The strap did nothing and easily came undone because it was wet.”
Chaplains visited the park to offer support while others have left tributes at the scene.

Forensic investigators have worked late into the night. Picture: Marc RobertsonSource:News Corp Australia

Two people were flung off the ride while others were trapped under a conveyor belt. Picture: David ClarkSource:Supplied

PEOPLE HYSTERICALLY CRYING’
Witnesses told of their horror at seeing a young girl crying who they believe is the daughter of one of the victims.
“We saw people hysterically crying, running around … One of the daughters said it was her family,” a witness told Sky News.
Lia Capes said: “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.”
“We tried to comfort her to the side to distract her.”
She also said: “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.”
A male witness said “there were kids on board screaming while their mum was trapped under”. Meanwhile another woman said a woman was “crushed” by the ride and left “hanging by her foot”.

PROBLEMS WITH RIDE?
The accident has prompted intense speculation about whether or not the ride was performing well. Witnesses told Nine News they were forced to wait earlier in the day while water was drained and engineers looked at it, however Queensland Police denied knowledge of any prior incidents.
“They drained all the water out and then had to refill it back up, and then we were allowed to go.
“But, yeah, we were stuck there for about 30-40 minutes at least,” one woman told Nine.
Another park-goer Jesse Lovett said he rode the ride earlier with his two-year-old daughter on his lap and was concerned about the velcro strap which was ineffective, he claimed.
Dreamworld CEO Craig Davidson said: “We are deeply shocked and saddened by this. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the families involved and their loved ones.”
The company also issued a statement saying it was working with police to establish the facts.
“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 will remain closed on Wednesday and Ardent Leisure — the owner of Dreamworld — saw its share price plunge following the incident.

IMAGES:

Roozi Araghi. Picture: Facebook.Source:News Corp Australia

Luke Dorsett.Source:News Corp Australia

Kate Goodchild.Source:News Corp Australia

Emergency crews at the incident in Dreamworld, Gold Coast. Photo: Regi VargheseSource:News Corp Australia

Emergency crew at an incident in Dreamworld, Gold Coast. Shown is people outside the park. Picture: Regi VargheseSource:News Corp Australia

The Thunder River Rapids ride at Dreamworld.Source:Supplied

The park will remain closed on Wednesday while police investigate. Picture: Jason O’Brien/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

For more on this story and video go to: http://www.news.com.au/national/queensland/at-least-four-people-injured-after-serious-dreamworld-incident/news-story/ab194466f5fd49e1e1c17e5468bbbd47

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