Dreamworld emergency: multiple deaths confirmed

The Thunder River Rapids ride at Dreamworld. Photo: YouTubeRefresh regularly for the latestBRISBANE 7:15PM
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As the investigations move into full swing, here is what we know so far

Four people are dead after an incident on Thunder River Rapids ride at Dreamworld on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

Paramedics say two people were thrown from the ride and two people were trapped inside when the ride malfunctioned.

The victims are aged in their 30s and 40s.

Witnesses have described the tragic events, while Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk describes it as a “dark day” in the state’s history..

The theme park has been closed “until further notice”

Ardent Leisure, the operator of the Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast, had its share price fall by as much as 8 per cent

Police and workplace safety officers are investigating.

Our live coverage has concluded. Please check the main site for the latest developments.

BRISBANE 6:45PM: Tony Moore

Dreamworld’s car park is empty of holidaymakers now,.

It is virtually dark and the main lights come from television news crews still doing live crosses.

Inside Dreamworld, police and accident investigation teams can be seenmaking their way inside the first section of the theme park.

But other than that, night has now fallen on a day when two men andtwo women have died in an accident at one of Australia’s main theme parks.

Investigators at the scene where four people died on a ride at Dreamworld. Photo: Tony Moore

BRISBANE 6:31PM:

Theme park closed until ‘further notice’Dreamworld hasannounced the parkwill be closed until further notice after a tragic ride incident killed four people.

Dreamworld is currently closed until further notice due to an incident at the park.

— Dreamworld (@Dreamworld_AU) October 25, 2016What we know so farFour people have died on theThunder River Rapids ride at Dreamworld.

Paramedics saytwo people were thrown from the ride and two people were trapped inside.

Police and workplace safety are investigating

The Gold Coast theme park has been closed to the public.

Police and emergency crews remain outside Dreamworld after the horrific accident on the Thunder River Rapids ride. Photo: Tony Moore

BRISBANE 5:42pm:Cameron Atfield

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who wasin Queensland today, has issued a statement on today’s Dreamworld tragedy.

“I’m very saddened to learn of the tragic accident at Dreamworld earlier today,” he said.

“Theme parks are a place for family fun and happiness, not tragedy.

“This is a very, very, sad, tragic event. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives.

“This is a verysad day, and we trust there will be a thorough investigation into the causes of this accident over the days to follow.”

BRISBANE5:40pm:Georgina Mitchell

There was a problem with the Thunder River Rapids ride at Dreamworld several hours before one part of the ride flipped over, a witness said.

On Tuesday morning, visitors were left waiting as engineers were called in to inspect the ride.

“We were waiting there for about half an hour and the engineers had to come,” a witness told Nine News.

“They drained all the water out and then had to refill it back up. Then we were allowed to go. We were stuck there for about 30, 40 minutes at least.”

A witness said the Thunder River Rapids ride at Dreamworld was drained on Tuesday morning. Photo: Nine News

BRISBANE5:23pm:Carolyn Cummins

Ardent Leisure, the operator of the Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast, had its share price fall by as much as 8 per cent following news of a tragedy at the venue.

In a short statement on Tuesday afternoon the group confirmed there had been at least three fatalities at its theme park in Queensland on Tuesday.

BRISBANE 5.20pm:Jorge Branco

Witnesses have described shock and confusion in the aftermath of the accident as first responders reacted.

“They just told us to evacuate, ‘you’ve gotta go’,” one park-goer told Ten News.

“Then as we got down other people said they heard a massive big bang and it sounded like an explosive big bang.”

Emergency crews on the scene. Photo: supplied

BRISBANE 5.12pm:

‘Everyone is in deep shock’: PremierQueensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said police and workplace health and safety were doing a “thorough” investigation and expected that to continue into the early hours.

“I understand there were many witnesses and I want to thank paramedics and police who were there,” she said.

“I have been told the scene was horrific.

“Everyone is in deep shock that this has actually happened at one of our most popular theme parks, our heart goes out to family and victims.”

BRISBANE 5.04pm:

Inspector and regional duty officer Todd Reid confirmed two males and two females were confirmed dead, however would not confirm whether the adults were related to each other.

“Workplace health and safety officers and the Forensic Crash Unit of Queensland Police in attendance along with state coroner,” he said.

“We are working with park to determine how tragic incident has occurred.”

BRISBANE 4.52pm:Dreamworldchief executive Craig Davidson said the park had been closed.

“We are deeply shocked and saddened by this and our hearts and our thoughts go to the families involved and their loved ones,” he said.

Inspector Todd Reid speaks to media about the accident at Dreamworld. Photo: Queensland Police

Paramedics said two people were thrown from the raft and two people were trapped inside.

Queensland Ambulance Service Officer Gavin Fuller said the people were aged from 32 to their early 40s.

He said park staff attempted first aid but weren’t able to save them.

Dreamworld CEO Craig Davidson speaks to media about the accident at the park. Photo: ABC News

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has launched an investigation into the tragedy, with an investigations team and the chief engineer on site.

It’s understood the chief engineer will be looking into the mechanics of the ride and what went wrong.

Authorities and Dreamworld representatives have spoken about the tragic incident at Dreamworld. It begins about 5.20 minutes:

BRISBANE 4.19pm:The Queensland Police Service has issued a statement ahead of the press conference.

“Police are currently investigating an incident that occurred this afternoon at a theme park on the Gold Coast.

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.”

The incident comes about six months after a near-drowning on Dreamworld’s popular log ride.

A man was on the log ride when he fell out in April.

He was treated by the theme park’s medical staff after he swallowed water and suffered cuts to his head before paramedics arrived.

4.57pm:Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate said it is a “very sad day for our city”.

“Our thoughts are with the families of those affected – and the emergency staff in attendance,” he said.

“I urge everyone to show the respect needed as the relevant authorities undertake investigations in to what has occurred.

“A truly sad day for all.”

4pm: Dreamworld has confirmed “at least three fatalities” at its theme park.

“Dreamworld confirms there has been at least three fatalities at its theme park in Queensland today,” the statement read.

Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate. Photo: Supplied

“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.

“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.”

People were “hysterically crying” and running after the accident, witnesses say.

One woman who spoke to media at the theme park said a young girl was crying and being comforted at the ride.

“We think it was her mum that was involved,” the woman said.

“There was just police and lifeguards everywhere.

“It happened on the Rapids ride. I spoke to a guy and he said he looked behind and the whole thing flipped over.”

Another witness said she believed three adults involved in the accident were from the same extended family.

Thunder River Rapids isconsidered a quite tame family ride.

Photo: Twitter / Nine News

Up to six people are strapped into one circular cart with a loose belt around the abdomen, then the ride travels down a water track.

According to the Dreamworld website, it travels up to 45 kilometres an hour through “turbulent rapids”.

Earlier: One person has reportedly died and three others are injured after an incidenton a ride at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast.

Police say it appears one person had become caught in a conveyor belt at the Coomera theme park.

Paramedics said four people were injured, though they couldn’t confirm media reports one person had died.

It’s believed the accident occurred on the Thunder River Rapids ride with a six- person circular raft flipping over onto the conveyor belt.

Emergency services workers and police at the scene of the incident at Dreamworld. Photo: Nine News

“The situation is unfolding,” a Queensland Ambulance spokeswoman said.”The QAS is working with other emergency services to assist at the scene.”

– with Georgina Mitchell

Four people have been critically injured at #Dreamworld. There is nothing further we can confirm at this stage.

— QPS Media Unit (@QPSmedia) October 25, 2016