Queensland Police have confirmed the death of four people after a horrific accident at Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast.
A just-released statement reads:
“Police were called to the site at Coomera around 2.20pm following reports that a number of people had been injured by a conveyor belt. Four adults have been confirmed as being deceased. Police and other emergency services remain on the scene and no further information can be released at this stage.”
Dreamworld released its own short statement on the incident, saying it’s working with authorities to piece together exactly how this happened as quickly as possible.
“Dreamworld is working as quickly as possible to establish the facts around the incident and is working closely with emergency authorities and police to do this,” read a statement.
Though earlier witness accounts suggested the fatalities occurred on the BuzzSaw rollercoaster, it has now been ascertained the deadly incident occurred on the Thunder River Rapids ride, a family ride that sends you down turbulent man-made rapids at speeds of up to 45 km/h.
Emergency crews are still tending to the scene, but it’s now believed six people were enjoying the ride when the car they were in capsized on a large conveyor belt; two people were allegedly pinned down and died at the scene.
Details remain scarce but a theme park patron who rode Thunder River earlier in the day told 9News the ride inexplicably stopped for about 30 minutes, hinting at a malfunction, though this has been unconfirmed by Dreamworld.
Councillors are currently on-site comforting devastated patrons who witnessed the horrific tragedy, or may have been in the park at the time it happened.
We’ll update this story as more information comes to hand.
Photo and source: 9News.