A faulty water pump was most likely the cause for the death of four people that were on the Thunder River Rapids ride in 2016. The pre-inquest hearing into the four victims; Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett and Roozi Araghhi stated that the group of friends and family were killed instantly when the ride malfunctioned.
The counsel assisting the coroner, Ken Fleming stated that the victims and two children were in the 5th raft of the ride that was described a moderate ride that aims to simulate a white water rafting experience.
Fleming explained to the Magistrates Court in Brisbane that the group had completed their ride when the 6th raft had stopped. A decrease in water levels from a faulty water pump was the cause of the stranded raft. The raft that the victims were in collided with the stranded 6th raft, causing it to flip.
The two children that were present in the raft were able to escape saving their lives. Video from the incident shows one of the victims throwing out the children to a passer-by before they were dragged into the conveyor belt.
Fleming has proposed to split the formal inquest of the deaths in two separate sections. The first section is to examine the exact turn of events that occurred and the response that occurred following the incident. The second section will look at any possible law changes that will need to be implemented to prevent similar occurrences from happening in the future.
The first section of the inquest is likely to commence during the middle of the year. The second half of the inquest will most likely commence around October, November and December months. As of now the witness list that will testify has not been confirmed and the dates haven’t been officially formalised.
Lawyers for the parent company of Dreamworld, Ardent Leisure, have stated that they would cooperate with the inquest to help get answers for the tragedy. Fleming mentioned that the inquest is not to put blame on any parties but rather to examine the events that occurred and make sure that they don’t happen in the future. He also mentioned out of court that he hopes the families of the victims can get some closure from the inquest.
There is a lot of work to be done as apparently terabytes worth of documents have been gathered for the case. The second pre-inquest hearing will commence on the 25th of may at the Southport Magistrate Court.