THE families of the four victims arrived at Southport Coroner's Court every morning steeling themselves for what they might hear.

Horrifying details were unveiled again and again about what happened on the Thunder River Rapids Ride that led to the deaths of Roozi Araghi, Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett and Cindy Low.

Roozbeh, Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett and Cindy Low. Picture: Supplied
Roozbeh, Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett and Cindy Low. Picture: Supplied

The following are the most shocking allegations aired at the inquest.

 

Cost cutting

DREAMWORLD'S executive safety team had ticked off on cost cutting on repairs and maintenance in March 2016 - just seven months prior to the incident.

"Revenue is up but profit is down, cutbacks are now being enforced. Repairs and maintenance spending need to stop," minutes of a meeting said.

 

$10 a day

IT would have cost Dreamworld about $10 extra a day to employ two senior ride operators to man the Thunder River Rapids Ride, one of the most complex attractions at the park.

Police next to a raft similar to the one in which four people died. Photo: Regi Varghese
Police next to a raft similar to the one in which four people died. Photo: Regi Varghese

Instead they chose to save $3650 a year by employing a junior and senior operator to run the ride.

 

Staff reprimands

RIDE trainer Amy Crisp was reprimanded seven months before the incident for not following correct procedures when shutting down the Thunder River Rapids Ride for a day.

She trained ride operator Courtney William the morning of the incident.

Ms Crisp also trained the senior ride operator Peter Nemeth some months earlier.

The electrician who fixed the first pump failure the day of the tragedy had received a "final written warning" for an incident on the log ride just weeks earlier.

 

Buttons

THE Thunder River Rapids Ride had two different buttons which stopped the conveyor but staff did not know those buttons had a six-second difference in stopping times.

Neither ride operators Courtney Williams or Peter Nemeth knew the stop button at the unload platform would stop the conveyor in two seconds.

Thunder River Rapids ride operator Courtney Williams is arriving at the inquest into the Dreamworld disaster at the Southport Courthouse. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
Thunder River Rapids ride operator Courtney Williams is arriving at the inquest into the Dreamworld disaster at the Southport Courthouse. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

The button on the main control panel which Mr Nemeth said he pressed "two or three times" did not work and was set to stop the conveyor in eight seconds.

Ms Williams in training the morning of the disaster claimed she was told "not to worry" about the fast stop emergency button.

Numerous staff members, including operators, trainers, electricians and mechanics, told the inquest they did not know about the time different in the buttons.

 

Breakdowns

THE Thunder River Rapids Ride had been having issues with its south pump for at least a week leading up to the tragedy. The disaster happened when water levels dropped following the failure of the south pump, causing a raft to get stuck. The south pump, one of two which operate the ride, failed on October 19, 2016 and was reset by engineers that day.

Queensland Emergency service personnel are seen at amusement theme park Dreamworld on the day of the disaster. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled
Queensland Emergency service personnel are seen at amusement theme park Dreamworld on the day of the disaster. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled

The pump broke down again on October 23 and was reset. On the day of the disaster, the pump failed at 11.50am and again at 1.09pm.

On the second breakdown a mechanic restarted the electrics on the pump as the electricians were too busy.

The pump failed for a third time at 2.03pm, leading up to the disaster.

 

Training

NUMEROUS ride operators at Dreamworld told the inquest they had never received emergency scenario drill training.

None of the ride operators to take the stand said they had been given the training since the disaster.

A Dreamworld spokeswoman told the inquest drill training was taking place at the park.

 

Prior warning

DREAMWORLD ignored a series of warnings for 17 years leading up to the fatal incident on the Thunder River Rapids Ride.

A raft flipped in January 2001 after being caught in almost the same spot on the conveyor belt in a dry run before the park opened, leading engineers to voice their concerns in an internal email. There was a second collision of rafts in 2004 where one guest ended up in the water. No one was injured.

A 1999 safety audit recommended an emergency stop button be installed which stopped all mechanisms of the ride at once. It was never done.

In November 2014 two rafts collided on the conveyor belt. The operator manning the ride was sacked for not following the shut down and start up procedure.

 

No internal investigation

IN the eighteen months since the diaster numerous employees told the inquest they had never been asked to be a part of an internal investigation. This means there could be staff who made vital mistakes on October 25, 2016 and their management do not know.

Emergency crews outside Dreamworld on the day of the disaster. Picture: Jason O'Brien/Getty Images
Emergency crews outside Dreamworld on the day of the disaster. Picture: Jason O'Brien/Getty Images

 

Too many tasks

RIDE operators at the Thunder River Rapids Ride had more than 20 tasks to complete in less than a minute between rafts being launched. They also had to monitor 16 potential hazards during the ride. The list included helping children on to the raft, checking CCTV cameras to ensure rafts were not stuck or passengers had fallen in the water, loading the ride and monitoring the queue.



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