Dreamworld tragedy inquest set to start

21 June, 2018, 05:40 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Dreamworld tragedy inquest set to start

Ms Goodchild's 12-year-old daughter and Ms Low's 10-year-old son survived the incident despite also being thrown out of the raft.

New Zealand woman Cindy Low, inset, was one of four victims who died after an accident at the Dreamworld theme park in Australia.

She told the inquest a large pump on the Thunder River Rapids ride had failed at both 11:50am and 1:09pm without any incidents.

Queensland Emergency service personnel at Dreamworld.

An inquest into the Dreamworld tragedy in which four people were killed on a family-friendly ride is set to begin on the Gold Coast on Monday.

"I shudder when I think if there had been guests on that ride", said counsel assisting Ken Fleming QC, quoting an email between Dreamworld staff after the 2001 incident.

At that time two stationary rafts banked up at the unload area of the ride before three rafts came off the conveyor and collided.

Det Sgt Brown said no engineering staff attended the second time, and that it was simply reset.

A police investigation uncovered several other risky incidents on the ride.

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Answering questions from Mr Fleming, Detective Sergeant Brown said there was no switch to automatically shut down the Thunder River Rapids if water levels dropped too much.

The coroner heard that in 2001 one of the ride's rafts flipped during the "dry run" at the start of the day and no-one was on board.

"The problem was described as an earth fault with the south pump, that's the terminology that was used", she said.

The principal police investigator has told a packed Southport Coroners Court the main control panel for the ride was confusing and the operator had previously been deterred from using an immediate shutdown button.

Detective Sergeant Brown also told the inquest that staff with different levels of experiences were told different information about the stop buttons.

"Operators at the control panel had to take a number of steps to shut down the ride, there was nothing that shut down everything", she said.

"The potential for that to happen was always there", Sen Const Cornish told the inquest.

Among the relatives of the victims in the gallery are Ms Low's husband Matthew and Ms Goodchild's husband Dave Turner.

Up to 37 witnesses are expected to testify at the two-week inquest, which will investigate the ride's history, staff procedures and whether the accident could have been avoided.

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