Four people have been killed at the Dreamworld amusement park in Queensland, authorities said. The fatal incident was reportedly on the Thunder River Rapids ride.
Australian police said Tuesday said that four adults - two men and two women - were killed in an apparent accident on a water ride inside the theme park.
"Dreamworld is working as quickly as possible to establish the facts around the incident," theme park officials said in a statement, adding that they were working closely with emergency authorities and police. The park was shut down following the reported mishap.
The Thunder River Rapids ride whisks riders in six-person circular rafts along a fast-moving, man-made river. An apparent malfunction caused two people to be ejected from their raft, while two others were caught inside the ride, said Gavin Fuller, an officer with the Queensland Ambulance Service. He said he did not know whether the two victims who were caught in the ride were trapped under water, or caught up in the machinery.
Park employees reportedly administered first aid to the victims, but their injuries proved fatal. "This is a very sad day for our city. Our thoughts are with the families of those affected - and the emergency staff in attendance," Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said on his Facebook page.
Dreamworld opened on the Gold Coast in northeastern Australia in 1981. The Rapid River Ride was introduced in 1986. Some 1.8 million people visit the theme park every year.
jar/kl (dpa, AP, AFP)