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Serious accident on ride at Dreamworld in Australia

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Stumbled across this while looking for info on a completely unrelated subject.

 

One site reports that three have been injured and another person has died: http://www.9news.com.au/National/2016/10/25/15/48/Reports-of-at-least-one-dead-in-serious-Dreamworld-ride-accident

 

Another site says that four have been injured, one seriously, but the death has not been confirmed yet: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/incident-at-dreamworld-on-gold-coast-injures-1-several-people-trapped/news-story/c9215c32c484c2a740af4fa7e16df102

 

According to Wikipedia, Dreamworld is the largest theme park in Australia, located in Gold Coast, a city on the east central coast in the southern part of the state of Queensland. The park's website is currently offline, though you can view a snapshot of it due to fancy web technology: http://www.dreamworld.com.au

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The Herald-Sun article (second link above) has been updated with further details. Of particular note:

 

 

The horror accident is believed to have happened just after 2pm on the Thunder River Rapids ride which is a water-based raft ride using a conveyor belt.

One person is understood to be trapped in the conveyor belt.

There are unconfirmed reports all four people have been killed.

 

According to timeanddate.com, Gold Coast is 14 hours ahead of us, so that would have been just after midnight Eastern time.

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wow this really sucks for Dreamworld, prayers for the families effected and hopefully the park makes the right move and just remove the ride after this...

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wow this really sucks for Dreamworld, prayers for the families effected and hopefully the park makes the right move and just remove the ride after this...

That's a bold statement for not yet knowing what actually happened. Especially considering it's an attraction type that exists at nearly every major theme park. To my knowledge, this is the first significant incident on this ride type. It may be just the belt that needs replaced or the rafts or even nothing at all.

I'm certainly very interested in finding out what caused this as it's an attraction that has existed for decades at theme parks around the globe without incident.

Edit: I stand corrected, there has been just one incident before now. I still wouldn't call for the ride's removal, though. Modifications are likely necessary, though. It's possibly just a faulty part as it was in that 1999 incident.

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This has probably been one of the worst years for the amusement park industry. First the employee killed at Disneyland Paris, then the boy killed by the gator at Walt Disney World, then the girls that (non-fatally) fell out of the Ferris Wheel at the carnival in Tennessee (?), then the boy killed on Verruckt, and now this.

My deepest sympathies, prayers, etc. go out to the families of the victims. This is absolutely heartbreaking and I can't imagine what their families are going through.

As for what rcwizard13 said, there was a fatality in 1999 at Six Flags Over Texas on Roarin' Rapids (very similar to this ride) when a raft flipped over. Apparently a pipe snagged the raft and it began to fill with water until it flipped over right in front of all the people waiting in line for the ride. So yes, there has been a very significant accident on this ride type in the past. 

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The park's website and Facebook page now display the following message:

 

 

 

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

 

We are deeply shocked and saddened by the incident; our hearts and thoughts go out to the families involved and their loved ones.

 

According to an article from news.com.au (which has compiled information from several sources), this happened near the end of the ride when one raft hit an empty raft and flipped over. The article also says that the ride uses velcro straps to secure riders, rather than the latching seatbelts seen on Whitewater Canyon.

 

http://www.news.com.au/national/queensland/at-least-four-people-injured-after-serious-dreamworld-incident/news-story/ab194466f5fd49e1e1c17e5468bbbd47

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Saw a pic of this particular ride. The planks on the conveyor belt look dangerously far apart, unlike other similar rides. The raft at the top of the lift got stuck and the other on the conveyor ran into the stuck raft while the conveyor continued to push the raft on the lift, causing it to flip. Aren't there ride ops monitoring the lift that could have stopped it?

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The park's website and Facebook page now display the following message:

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

We are deeply shocked and saddened by the incident; our hearts and thoughts go out to the families involved and their loved ones.

According to an article from news.com.au (which has compiled information from several sources), this happened near the end of the ride when one raft hit an empty raft and flipped over. The article also says that the ride uses velcro straps to secure riders, rather than the latching seatbelts seen on Whitewater Canyon.

http://www.news.com.au/national/queensland/at-least-four-people-injured-after-serious-dreamworld-incident/news-story/ab194466f5fd49e1e1c17e5468bbbd47

Wait I thought WWC had Velcro belts and not ratcheting?

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WWC has very stretchy elastic belts that go across two people, and as far as I remember, link together with standard old-style seatbelt latches.

Latching!!! Got it. I read it as ratcheting.... My bad

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I believe a similar event happened at a six's flags park when the raft also turned over before/on the conveyor lift.

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So this wasn't a Intamin ride? Even though one of the articles said it was?

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So this wasn't a Intamin ride? Even though one of the articles said it was?

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This is NOT an Intamin ride.  The article was wrong.

 

The rafts were built by Master Glass.  I have not seen any other information which confirms who did the rest of the design.

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So this wasn't a Intamin ride? Even though one of the articles said it was?

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This is NOT an Intamin ride.  The article was wrong.

 

The rafts were built by Master Glass.  I have not seen any other information which confirms who did the rest of the design.

 

 

There is a lot of custom rapids rides; VF's is from Barr, SDC's was an in-house project, etc. Lost River can have significant problems if it loses the water pumps in either a failure or an E-stop, in that case literally every Maintenance worker has to run over there. They are dangerous by nature to a certain degree, but ultimately good "supervision" should nullify any risk.

 

Either way very very sad news.

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From Intamin's website  http://www.intaminworldwide.com/amusement/Home/News/tabid/196/Default.aspx

 

Like everyone in our industry, we are shocked and saddened about the tragic event at Dreamworld.  Please be informed that this ride was neither built by Intamin nor supplied by Intamin. We are therefore not in the position to make any comment.   Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected.
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It also looks like a contributing factor is that the lift kept running with a boat stopped at the beginning of the turntable.  WWC's lift stops when the turntable is stopped or a boat is still to close to the top of the lift.

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And could the conveyor system make a difference? It's been a while since I looked at WWC but isn't our conveyor blades much closer together and/or has a rubber "belt" while this one looks much more spread out between bars

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Such a tragic accident that seems like it could have been prevented.  

 

Watched a few POV's of this ride and I don't see any proximity sensors on the lift, but there does appear to be a ride attendant platform at the top of the lift with what Im guess is an E-stop panel.  Yet in all the videos I watched there was never a ride attendant stationed there.  Should be very interesting to see what the investigation finds.

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And could the conveyor system make a difference? It's been a while since I looked at WWC but isn't our conveyor blades much closer together and/or has a rubber "belt" while this one looks much more spread out between bars

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It is difficult to say for certain.  But I think people have focused too much on the gaps.  It is hard to be certain but I doubt the gaps make a difference until the raft is already in trouble.  Friction is likely enough to cause this accident and having a more solid belt will likely provide more friction.

 

I would look at either issues with safety sensors or a lack of sensors.  If a raft gets stuck right after the conveyor then the conveyor should automatically shut down.

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Not a lot of updates on this at the moment (which is understandable given the seriousness of this situation). According to various sources, the park had planned to hold a memorial service for the victims last week and reopen this past weekend, but those have been put on hold until the investigation is complete. The park is currently closed until further notice according to their website. A CNN article from Wednesday said the park was supposed to release a statement on the rescheduled memorial service and when they planned to reopen today, but that didn't happen (it's currently 2am Tuesday morning there).

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