QUEENSLAND, Australia — Four people were killed at a theme park in Queensland, Australia, on Tuesday when one of the park’s rides malfunctioned, police said.
Two men and two women were pronounced dead by police following an incident on the Thunder River Rapids Ride at the Dreamworld theme park on the state’s Gold Coast.
Police confirmed to reporters that two females, aged 42 and 38, and two males, 35 and 32, had died.
Inspector Tod Reid of the Queensland Police told reporters that “investigations are continuing and we’ve had the forensic pathologists attend the scene and examine the deceased in situ.”
Reid said police were attempting to contact the families of the victims.
“We have specialist police here engaged with witnesses, and that those people are being offered support, along with also the responding police are being offered appropriate support as well,” he said. A “crime scene has been established,” Reid said.
Police were called to the site at Coomera around 2.20pm (12.20am ET) after reports that “a number of people had been injured by a conveyor belt.”
The ride had malfunctioned, pinning people underneath, Gavin Fuller, acting senior operations supervisor for Queensland Ambulance Service, said at a press conference.
“One of the rides had sustained some sort of malfunction, causing two people to be ejected from a ride, another two people were caught inside the ride,” Fuller said.
Fuller said the victims had sustained injuries that were not survivable, adding that “a number” of staff from the ambulance service had been “deeply affected by this terrible incident.”
“An incident occurred on the Thunder River Rapids ride, resulting in the tragic deaths of four people.
“At this stage the park is closed and Dreamworld is working closely with police and emergency service to establish the facts around the incident. We are deeply shocked and saddened by this and our hearts and our thoughts go to the families involved and to their loved ones,” Davidson said at the news conference.
US Olympian Matthew Centrowitz tweeted that he had just stepped off the ride when he learned that there were injuries.
“Dude! Just got off a ride 15 mins ago that has 1 person seriously injured & 2 others trapped. #Dreamworld,” the track star’s tweet read. The death toll was updated after Centrowitz’ tweet had been posted.