Two children have “miraculously” escaped death at an Australian theme park after an accident on a ride that killed four adults.
A six-person raft on the Thunder River Rapids ride at the Dreamworld theme park on Australia’s gold coast flipped as it was travelling on a conveyor belt, seconds from the end of the water-based attraction.
Two adults were crushed beneath the vessel and two became caught in the conveyor belt.
All have been identified and the two children who escaped unharmed were said to be traumatised and in hospital where they have been offered counseling.‘Tragic loss’
The victims were brother and sister Luke Dorsett, 35 and Kate Goodchild, 32 – whose daughter, 12, was riding in the same raft but escaped unharmed – and Dorsett’s partner, Roozi Araghi, 38.
The fourth is Cindy Low, 42, a New Zealand national living in Sydney. Her 10-year-old son was alongside her in the raft while her partner, Mathew, and daughter were in another
“The family are traumatised, and kindly request that their privacy be respected as they try to come to terms with this tragic loss,” a statement from Low’s family said, adding they would not make any further statements “in this time of intense grief”.
It is understood that the children were thrown clear of the raft as it flipped.
They escaped without serious physical injury.
Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd 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. If we’re going to be thankful for anything, I’m thankful for that.”
In a televised statement, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said: “Theme parks are a place for family fun and happiness not tragedy. This is a very, very sad and tragic event. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives.”
The park is currently closed until further notice while forensic police carry out an examination of the river rapids ride.