Court holds Dreamworld pre-inquest

Police investigating the tragic accident at the Thunder River Rapids ride at Dreamworld

A pre-inquest hearing into the four deaths on a malfunctioning ride at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast in 2016 has heard that a faulty water pump caused a raft to became stranded, which then likely led to the deaths.

The pre-inquest hearing into the deaths of Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi heard the group were killed almost instantly when they were thrown from the ride.

Counsel assisting Ken Fleming told the Brisbane Magistrates Court the victims’ raft flipped when a collision occurred 15 seconds after one of the ride’s pumps stopped working, causing the water level to drop.

He said the victims died almost instantly as a result of compressive or crushing injuries after they were tipped into the conveyor mechanism. The two children in the raft managed to escape.

Aims of inquest

Fleming proposed splitting a formal inquest into the deaths into two sections — the first to examine exactly what happened and the response to the fatal incident, and the second to look at whether law changes were needed to prevent similar tragedies.

The construction, maintenance and modifications to the ride will also be within the inquest scope, along with Dreamworld’s risk-management processes, training and staffing. The first half of the inquest will likely be heard in June and July, with proposed dates for the second portion slated for October, November and December.

Lawyers for Ardent Leisure, Dreamworld’s parent company, said they would cooperate with the inquest.

Fleming said the inquest would not result in blame being laid on any parties, but acknowledged the Director of Public Prosecutions and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland could take their own legal action.

ABC reported that outside the court, counsel assisting said he hoped the victims’ families would get some closure from the inquest.

 

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