Queensland police have been analysing CCTV footage from Dreamworld to piece together how four people died on a ride at the family theme park yesterday.
Kate Goodchild, 32, her brother Luke Dorsett, his partner Roozi Araghi and a 42-year-old woman were killed after their raft on the Thunder River Rapids ride flipped.
Gavin Fuller of Queensland Ambulance said two of the victims were “ejected” after a “malfunction” on the ride. The other two victims were thought to have been trapped on the conveyor belt under the upturned raft.
It is believed the group that was killed was on a holiday from Canberra.
Witnesses have reported trying to console the young daughter of Goodchild when she started looking for her mother following the incident.
“She just kept screaming ‘Where’s Mummy? Where’s Mummy?” witness Claire Wooley told news.com.au.
“We tried to comfort her, but she was so emotional it was hard.”
“We were in tears ourselves and she was just hysterical.”
The mother of the Goodchild and Dorsett, Kim Dorsett, told The Courier Mail she is devastated that her grandchildren will be left without a mother.
“My family have been completely wiped out… I have three children and two of them are now gone.
“I have two granddaughters — an eight-month-old and a 12-year-old — and it truly breaks my heart to know that my eight-month-old is never going to get to know her mum.”
At a media on Wednesday morning, Queensland Police assistant commissioner Brian Codd revealed that two children, a 10-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, managed to extricate themselves from the ride at the time of the accident.
“It’s almost a miracle anyone came out of that,” Codd said.
“The full analysis of how that [the accident] occurred, how inconsistent that is with the normal operating procedures, will be very much at the forefront of our investigation.”
The Thunder River Rapids ride first opened nearly 30 years ago and was considered to be one of the most sedate in the park, the largest on the Gold Coast.
Dreamworld is expected to remain closed for several days as forensic teams and engineers try to determine the exact cause of the malfunction.
The case has been referred to the State Coroner and will likely become the subject of a coronial inquest.
It is the worst Australian theme park disaster since 1979’s Luna Park Ghost Train inferno, in which six children and one adult died.
Shares in Dreamworld’s parent company, ASX-listed Ardent Leisure, fell 7.84% on news of the tragedy, to close at $2.35. Read more here.
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