Dreamworld ripping down deadly ride that killed four
DREAMWORLD has begun demolishing the Thunder River Rapids almost 18 months after four people lost their lives when the popular ride malfunctioned.
Demolition crews have moved in on the ride, which has been closed and hidden behind 2m metal sheeting since Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett, Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low died when the raft they were in flipped in October 2016.
The Gold Coast theme park has held talks with representatives of the families of the victims regarding the future of the site, but in the short term, the area will be levelled and ride infrastructure demolished. Demolition crews have been operating mostly outside the park's opening hours.
It is the continuation of a project which started last September with the demolition of the old mine ride, with the rest of the Gold Rush precinct, including the shooting gallery, retail stores and the Skylink chairlift, to now be dismantled.
When finished, it will clear several hectares from the Dreamworld footprint and work is underway on a new masterplan for the area.
However, a Dreamworld spokesman said no plans had yet been made for a memorial for the victims.
"No decision has been made on future plans for the Gold Rush site," he said. "Our hearts and thoughts remain with the families."
Families who lost loved ones in the tragedy have yet to come to an agreement on what sort of memorial, if any, should be erected. They have also been kept informed of the progress of demolition works.
Police completed a painstaking 12-month investigation in October last year, presenting the Queensland Coroner with a two-volume report recommending no one face criminal charges over the tragedy. An inquest is expected to be held in the coming months.
It has been a long road back for Dreamworld, with the theme park's parent company this week telling shareholders the attraction lost $24 million in the six months to the end of last year.
However, that was a marked improvement on the same period the previous year and the park reported strong crowds over the Christmas holidays.
Attendance was up 32 per cent and revenue jumped 55 per cent for the period from December 10 to February 13 compared with the same time last year.