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Dreamworld's Christmas holiday nightmare as two 'narrow escapes' reported


Dreamworld has referred two incidents at the Gold Coast theme park to Queensland’s safety watchdog.

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It is understood a visitor to the park and a staff member narrowly escaped injury during two near-misses on two rides recently.

One of the incidents occurred on the high-speed Triple Vortex slide at WhiteWater World.

The other at Dreamworld was when a three-tonne arm reportedly fell off the Pandemonium ride during maintenance.

The park confirmed the two incidents had been reported to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.

“We reported an event to WHSQ which occurred in our engineering centre during scheduled maintenance … and have received confirmation that they are satisfied with our actions,” a spokeswoman told AAP in a statement on Thursday.

Dreamworld also confirmed a “minor event” had taken place on the Triple Vortex slide and says WHSQ are satisfied with its actions following the incident.

The two near-misses reportedly follow an incident on the Fully6 waterslide last month, which left a young girl seriously injured.

WHSQ issued an improvement order for the ride but this has been paused after the park’s management team requested a review of the notice.

“WhiteWater World acquired the water slide from a top tier manufacturer who supplies water slides globally,” the spokeswoman said.

“Our operation of the slide is strictly in accordance with the requirements of the manufacturer which we have verified was the case on the day of the recent event.”

The popular tourist park shot to infamy in 2016 when four holidaymakers were killed on a poorly-maintained Dreamworld ride.

Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi died when a water pump on the Thunder River Rapids ride malfunctioned, causing water levels to fall dangerously low.

Their raft collided with another after becoming stuck in the low water and partially flipping, flinging the group into the mechanised conveyor that moved the rafts.

The malfunction was the third that day and the fifth in a week.

No automated shutdown function had been installed despite improvement recommendations from engineers.

Ms Goodchild’s 12-year-old daughter and Ms Low’s 10-year-old son survived the incident.

Dreamworld’s parent company Ardent Leisure was fined $3.6 million – the largest-ever imposed in Queensland for a workplace tragedy – in September after earlier pleading guilty to safety charges.

In February, an inquest into the deaths found there was a “systemic failure” at Dreamworld in all aspects of safety.

Coroner James McDougall said there had been no thorough engineering risk assessment of TTRR in the 30 years it was open to the public.

Dreamworld presented itself as a modern, world-class theme park, but its “frighteningly unsophisticated” safety procedures were “rudimentary at best”, he said while delivering his findings.

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