The first part of an inquest into the deaths of four people on a ride at Dreamworld in October 2016 will finish today, before resuming in November. File picture
The first part of an inquest into the deaths of four people on a ride at Dreamworld in October 2016 will finish today, before resuming in November. File picture

Dreamworld 'shocked' by inquest evidence

AFTER two weeks of harrowing testimony, Dreamworld has issued a statement acknowledging the "shocking and deeply concerning evidence that has been presented".

The statement reads:

"Dreamworld is profoundly sorry this tragedy occurred.

"We acknowledge that shocking and deeply concerning evidence has been presented at the coronial inquest.

"We know this has been a very harrowing time for all, particularly the victims' families.

"We are sorry that they have had to relive the trauma of that terrible day in October, 2016.

"We apologise to our former and current staff who have also been affected by this tragedy, some of whom have endured significant time as witnesses reliving the accident. We thank them for doing their best to assist the Coroner.

"The coronial inquest is not yet completed. Dreamworld remains committed to participating in it and learning all we can to ensure that such tragic accidents are not repeated.

"Our hearts and thoughts remain with the families of the victims."

The inquest at the Southport Coroners Court is investigating the deaths of Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi following a malfunction on the Thunder River Rapids Ride in October 2016.

Yesterday the court was closed while footage of the lead-up to the tragedy was played.

The inquest also heard park electricians had raised concerns about wiring inside the ride's main control panel, which was described by an expert following the tragedy as a "rat's nest".

Further employees are to give evidence today before the inquest is adjourned until October.

A third two-week period has also been scheduled for November with more than half of the approximately 50 witnesses yet to give evidence.

SEE BELOW FOR UPDATES FROM THE INQUEST TODAY

12.30pm: Ride 'should've been shut down'

THE Thunder River Rapids ride should have been shut down before the fatal tragedy that claimed four lives, an inquest has heard.

Counsel assisting the coroner, Ken Fleming QC, asked engineering supervisor Peter Gardner how many times the ride needed to malfunction before it was shut down for a proper investigation.

One of the ride's water pump malfunctioned five times in the days leading up to the tragedy, including twice on the day four tourists died.

"How many times must it break down … before somebody says 'enough is enough',?" asked Mr Fleming.

"That ride should not have been still in service (at the time of the accident) should it?"

To which Mr Gardner replied: "No it shouldn't."

The inquest has heard conflicting testimony about whether a ride should be decommissioned for the day after two or three breakdowns in the same day, but there was no set policy for regular breakdowns on different days.

11.50am: Dreamworld response 'madness': Lawyer

A LAWYER for relatives of Dreamworld victims has labelled the response to repeated water pump failures on the Thunder River Rapids ride as "madness".

Addressing engineering supervisor Peter Gardner, barrister Steven Whybrow, representing the father of Kate Goodchild and Luke Dorsett and Ms Goodchild's partner Dave Turner, said repeated resets of a water pump on the ill-fated attraction were akin to Einstein's theory of madness.


"If you keep doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results, it's madness," he said.

There were four pump failures in the days leading up to the tragedy, including two earlier that day.

"Wouldn't it have been prudent to shut down the ride until the manufacturers of this ride could come in (and investigate the problem)?" asked Mr Whybrow.

"It would have been prudent to do that," replied Mr Gardner.

11.30am: Engineer surprised by lack of internal investigation

A QUEENSLAND coroner has told an inquest into the Dreamworld Thunder River Rapids tragedy he found it "interesting" the theme park had not conducted an internal investigation in the wake of the disaster.

Engineering supervisor Peter Gardner, who told the hearing he gained an engineering degree in his native UK but is not an accredited engineer in Australia, was asked if he thought it strange he had not heard of any kind of internal investigation into the tragedy, before lawyers for Dreamworld objected to the question.

 

 

Acting for Dreamworld's parent company Ardent Leisure, Barrister James Bell said there were already investigations conducted by the Queensland Police and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and objected to questions asking for Mr Gardner's opinion.

 

However, Coroner James McDougall said that was "of some interest to me" and overruled the objection.

The inquest will adjourn on Friday afternoon before resuming in November.