Dreamworld Thunder River Rapid Ride 'Should Not Have Opened'
The ill-fated Thunder River Rapids Ride would never have opened if Dreamworld had recognised the red flags leading up to the malfunction that killed four people at the theme park in 2016, an engineer says.
Engineering general manager Chris Deaves was asked at an inquest into the deaths if he would have allowed his children on the ride if he was aware of the issues plaguing the ride and its operating system.
The ride had been hit with a series of malfunctions and glitches in the days leading up to the tragedy and an operational guideline requiring the attraction be taken offline after two failures in a 24-hour period was ignored.
"Knowing what happened that day, we never would have opened the ride," Deaves said on Wednesday.
He was also asked by barrister Steven Whybrow if it was "fortunate" there had never been another serious incident before the fatal accident.
"The fact that a million people went on it a year, for 25 or 30 years, suggests some operational performance, and good performance," he said.
"There are many, many unknowns across many departments."
Whybrow asked: "Alternatively, it was good luck."
Deaves said: "Many years of good luck."
An email trail tendered at the Dreamworld inquest revealed that staff asked for the four-step showdown on the Thunder River Rapids Ride be reduced to a single step.
The delay in shutting down the ride has been criticised throughout the inquest.
Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi died in October 2016 after a water pump on the ride malfunctioned, resulting in two rafts colliding and flipping.
The inquest was told the ride had two different emergency stop buttons for the conveyor belt, one stopped the ride in just two seconds while the other took six to nine seconds.
A tendered email shows an attraction supervisor asked for the shutdown procedure to be simplified.
"In regards to the emergency shutdown procedure (persons in water/raft capsized) what is the possibility of having the steps changed from individual steps into one step? There has been some conversations around this, just asking the question."
Deaves said he was unaware of the request - even though it was an engineering issue - and that to his knowledge, the issue had not been raised with senior management.
The inquest into Australia's worst theme park disaster resumed on the Gold Coast this week for two weeks of hearings following sittings in October and June.
It continues on Thursday.