Dreamworld theme park operators charged with safety breach over joyride deaths

Australia’s Dreamworld theme park has been charged with safety breaches over a water ride malfunction that killed four people in 2016.

Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett, Roozbeh Araghi and Cindy Low died almost instantly when their raft collided with another and overturned, crushing them.

A coroner’s inquiry later found there were “unfathomable” errors with safety at the park on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

Authorities have filed three charges against parent company Ardent Leisure.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of US$1 million under Queensland’s Workplace Health and Safety Act.

The Incident:

The collision took place at the end of the Thunder River Rapids ride, an attraction that simulated the experience of white-water rafting.

The malfunction happened about 15 seconds after a pump stopped working and caused water levels to drop.

Two children were also thrown from the raft but survived.

Coroner James McDougall found a “systemic failure by Dreamworld in relation to all aspects of safety”, ruling the accident had been “only a matter of time”.

The park closed for six weeks after the accident, and the Thunder River Rapids ride was demolished. Other rides have shut since.