A child who was thrown from a raft on the Thunder River Rapids ride at Dreamworld theme park in Australia on Oct. 25 reportedly watched her mother die on the ride.
The six-person raft, carrying two children, two men and two women, collided with an empty raft that had become stuck near the end of the ride on a conveyor belt, reported the Courier Mail, according to the Daily Mail. The raft then flipped, expelling the two children. The two men, Luke Dorsett and Roozi Araghi, and the two women, one aged 42 and the other 32-year-old Kate Goodchild, were killed.
Goodchild’s daughter reportedly watched her mother die.
"Before we knew it everyone was running out in hysterics," Lia Capes, who was waiting in line to go on the ride when the accident occurred, said, according to the Sunshine Coast Daily.
After the tragedy struck, Claire Wooley said she was, “assisting a child ... we believe her mother was one of the deceased.”
The accident was caught on closed-circuit cameras.
A report by the Gold Coast Bulletin says two of the riders were thrown from the raft and became trapped under the ride’s conveyor belt, and two others were trapped in the raft.
The ride’s water was drained to try to save the riders and first aid was administered to them but park staff were unable to save them because their injuries were too severe.
Those who witnessed the accident are severely affected by it.
“My sister and niece were on the ride, they are so traumatized, there is a woman hanging by her foot, crushed from the ride,” one person said.
“The kids and people in there were screaming,” Capes said. “There were heaps of people crying, it all happened so fast."
Several park visitors said the ride had broken down at least twice the day of the accident.
“I’m not aware [of earlier problems on the ride] but that will obviously be part of the investigation,” Inspector Tod Reid said, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate was deeply affected by the accident and its impact on the area.
“It’s one of the saddest days in our city,” he said. “The Gold Coast is renowned for people to come here and have wonderful memories for the rest of their lives. This is the reverse of that. A tragedy like this, it affects us deeply because we cherish making sure we look after our visitors.”
Dreamworld, which is in Queensland, announced after the accident the park would be closed until further notice.