Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids Ride being torn down. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids Ride being torn down. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Ride's failed pump 'due for testing'

THE inquest into the deaths of four people on a ride at Dreamworld in 2016 continues on the Gold Coast today.

Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett, Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low died after two rafts collided on the Thunder River Rapids ride in October 2016.

ROLLING UPDATES BELOW

3.40pm: Worker issued warning over safety breach

THE Dreamworld electrician who repaired the Thunder River Rapids ride just before the tragedy had been given his "final written warning" one month earlier over a serious safety breach.

An inquest in to the 2016 disaster was shown a copy of a final warning issued to Francoire De Villiers on September 23 over "a serious breach of safety while you were attending a code 6 (malfunction)" on the theme park's log ride earlier that month.

"You have breached your safety obligations by failing to maintain vigilance in relation to safety," the warning read.

"You have been issued with a final written warning."

3.25pm: Failed pump due to be tested day after tragedy

The Dreamworld water pump which failed, triggering the horrific Thunder River Rapids ride tragedy, was due to be tested the day after the disaster.

An inquest in to the tragedy has been told of multiple problems with the south pump at the Thunder River Rapids in the week before four people were killed, including three times on the day of the accident.

Giving evidence to Coroner James McDougall, electrician Francoire De Villiers said the pump was due to be tested the next day.

Just hours later the pump failed again, leading to the fatal collision of two rafts on a conveyor belt.

3pm: Electrician: Everything was fine before fatal flip

A Dreamworld electrician who helped repair the Thunder River Rapids ride less than an hour before the malfunction that left four people dead said everything was fine before the tragedy.

Francoire De Villiers was called to the ride when the south pump failed on October 25, 2016.

He said the electrical team responded to the shutdown about midday and restored power about 20 minutes later.

"Everything was definitely fine," he said.

He said he was aware of similar pump failures in the days leading up to the tragedy.

Counsel assisting Coroner James McDougall, Ken Fleming, QC, asked: "Shouldn't that have rang alarm bells?"

To which Mr De Villiers replied: "It did. I went straight to my supervisor."

1.15pm: 'No action' after concerns raised about ride

A Dreamworld electrical mechanic has told an inquest he reported concerns about the Thunder River Rapids ride before the tragedy that claimed four lives.

Jacob Wilson was not working the day of the disaster but responded to pump failures in the days before the tragedy.

Speaking in cross-examination on the witness stand, he said he reported concerns about the ride to his supervisor over electrical equipment used to isolate controls to the conveyor belt.

He said nothing was done about his concerns because "that's the way the attractions department wanted it".

11.30am: Emergency drills were done for other attractions

Dreamworld staff run emergency drills including how to respond to a tiger escape, an inquest has been told.

Electrical mechanic Jacob Wilson said he had been involved in some emergency training both before and after the Thunder River Rapids tragedy in 2016.

He said emergency response drills included training for tiger escapes and simulated emergencies on the Buzzsaw roller coaster.

He was not asked if he ever participated in drills on the Thunder River Rapids, but ride operators had earlier told the inquest they were never involved in emergency training on the attraction, which was decommissioned after the tragedy.

11.20am: Engineer supervisor 'should have been called'

Dreamworld mechanics should have notified the engineering supervisor the second time the Thunder River Rapids broke down on the day four people were later killed.

A pump on the ride failed for a third time just moments before Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett, Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low died in October 2016.

Giving evidence at the inquest on Thursday, electrical mechanic Jacob Wilson said it was 'drilled in to us by the supervisor' to inform superiors if the ride broke down in a similar way three times in one day.

Other staffers have also told the inquest they were aware of a 'three strikes' policy for malfunctioning rides.

However, Mr Wilson was then shown the park's official breakdown procedure, which stated that a supervisor must be notified if a ride malfunctioned again within 24 hours of a breakdown.

The Thunder River Rapids ride was repaired twice just hours before the tragedy, with a ride operator noticing a third pump failure just seconds before the fatal raft collision.

10.25am: Dreamworld rafts had flipped before

A former Dreamworld ride attendant has told an inquest about the day rafts flipped on the Thunder River Rapids 15 years before the disaster which claimed four lives.

Joe Stenning told counsel assisting the coroner Rhiannon Helsen that he was working as a deckhand at the attraction in 2001 when a raft became stuck on the conveyor belt before a succession of other rafts followed, causing a pile-up.

He was shown photographs of a mess of damaged and capsized rafts near the unload station in the 2001 incident.

Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids Ride being torn down. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids Ride being torn down. Picture: Nigel Hallett

On that occasion four rafts collided and wedged together, with some flipping. None of the rafts were carrying passengers.

It was only metres from the location where Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett, Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low died after two rafts collided on the same conveyor belt in October 2016.

The inquest continues.



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