Dreamworld fatalities come after history of theme park accidents

Multiple witnesses said there were problems with the ride on Tuesday morning, several hours before the fatal accident. Photo: AAPA fatal accident at Dreamworld that has closed the theme park until further noticecomes after a series of incidents haveleft visitors injured or strandedat the park over the past two decades.
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The most recent unfoldedsix months ago, whena man almost drowned when he fell from the Rocky Hollow Log Ride.

The man swallowed water and was taken to hospital with cuts to his head when he fell from the ride on April 17.

Health and safety bodyWorkSafe investigated the incident and the ride was reopened two days later.

The log ride is nextto the BuzzSaw roller-coaster, whichwas shut down for more than a week in February2015 after a problemwith a safety harness was investigated.

The Thunder River Rapids ride,on which four adultsdied on Tuesdayin one of the worst Australian amusement park accidents, is in the same area of the theme park.

​In January 2004, about 50 people were trapped on cable cars in the park when a tree fell on the main cable suspending the ride in the air.

This is not the first safety incident to occur at one of Australia’s premier theme parks. Photo: Getty Images

Four years earlier, a problem with the gearbox on the WipeOut ride left thrillseekers stranded.

Dreamworld is not the only theme park on the Gold Coast to have had issues with its rides.

Last month,a roller-coaster at Sea World stopped mid-rideand a group of teenagers were forced to wait until park staff could rescue them.

On Tuesday afternoon, emergency services rushed to Dreamworld’s”Goldrush Country” areabut two men and two women on the ride were unable to be revived.

Dreamworld will remain closed after the tragedy. Photo: Nine News

Multiple witnesses said there were problems with the rideon Tuesday morning, several hours before the fatal accident.

One girl told Nine News that engineers were called in to drain and inspect the ride.

“We were waiting there for about half an hour and the engineers had to come.

“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,” the witness told Nine News.

Two other witnesses, New Zealand touristsKaylahand Lisa Walker, said they lined up at the rideseveral times but it was broken down.

“We were standing on the bridge watching and the water had stopped,” Lisa Walker said.”There was no rapids.”

They said the incident happened about 10 minutes after they walked away.

At a press conference on Tuesday,Dreamworld chief executive Craig Davidson said his park would remain closed until further notice.

“Dreamworld is working closely with police and emergency services and authorities to establish the facts around the incident,” Mr Davidson said.

First appeared SMH