Families plead for answers in Australian theme park deaths

Families plead for answers in Australian theme park deaths

Two men and two women were killed on Tuesday after getting trapped under an upturned raft on the Thunder River Rapids Ride at Dreamworld, near the tourist-magnet Gold Coast district in northeastern Queensland.

"Dreamworld would like to assure the public and our guests that at the time of the incident the park was fully compliant with all required safety certifications".

She said they had now spoken to "many of them".

Ms Thomas came under scrutiny for accepting an $A843,000 ($NZ896,000) bonus at the company's annual general meeting on Thursday and has since announced she would donate the cash portion of it to charity.

"Like everyone else in Australia we want to know what went wrong", he said. "Everybody is suffering from this and saddened and it's not just the people who work with us, but their families as well, so I hope that this is the beginning of the healing process".

"As per regulations, this safety audit was conducted by a specialist external engineering firm", Ardent said in a statement.The ride, meant to simulate going over river rapids, uses round floating devices that seat six and can reach speeds of 45 kph (28 mph).

"To the families of those who have lost loved ones, I extend my deepest sympathies on behalf of the people of Queensland, for your loss during this very hard time", she said. We want to know why our loved ones were taken from us in such horrific circumstances.

Flanked by his daughter's partner Dave Turner, who witnessed the tragedy, Mr Goodchild said his granddaughter would need all the support and strength the family could muster.

Roozi Araghi Luke Dorsett and Kate Goodchild. The three Canberrans were killed in the

"If I can't help then personally I will ensure we help them in any way possible", Thomas said.

A journalist told Thomas the mother of two of the victims was watching her live news conference and had sent the reporter a text message saying she was furious no-one from Ardent had been in touch.

The theme park management say the ride was inspected as recently as last month.

In a statement, the company, which had planned a memorial function at the theme park on Friday before reopening on Saturday, said it was postponing both events because of a police investigation, and would give an update on reopening on Monday.

Dreamworld has also defended its safety record against attacks from the the Australian Workers Union, which says it has been warning about problems at the park for years.

That payment is separate to a more than Aus$800,000 bonus that Thomas is also due to receive over the next four years, pending her performance.

Emails from Dreamworld's senior staff members concerned about the understaffing of rides at the theme park have been handed over to police.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Cindy's family, and in particular her son, who was sitting on the ride with his mum", he said.

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