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Accident At Dreamworld Australia!

10WaTT

Member
Can't remember the website I read it from , but here are a few things I've read that haven't been mentioned yet.

Apparently it was a girls first day working on the ride and was left in charge of the E-stop button.

The ride passed a health and safety check on 29th September 2016.

A former employee said that the ride had experiences of boats tipping during morning checks (they used to tie the boats up with ropes, which could have caused some of the flips) before the park opened and that it was riddled with problems since it opened in 1986.

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Sandman

Active Member
Re: ACCIDENT At Dreamworld Australia!

Has there been any validation as to whether the injured kids are okay yet? Haven't seen anything myself, but I think it's a really terrible situation for them to be in.
 

Gazza

Active Member
Re: ACCIDENT At Dreamworld Australia!

^^ Another theory might be that the part of coaster where Smiler's incident happened is more open to the general view than this, where only people in the station could get a good view of what had happened.
Difficult to get pics of the lift hill from in the park.
Basically the bridge over the lift has solid fences (presumably to stop people throwing ****)
http://www.parkz.com.au/photo/5576-Thun ... //offset/8

Though if you are on the pathway to Buzzsaw you can see straight through to the relevant area from here
http://www.parkz.com.au/photo/6684-Buzz ... /offset/16
(But in this case all a viewer here would see is the underside of the tipped raft)
 

El Patricko

New Member
Re: ACCIDENT At Dreamworld Australia!

Horrible and unfortunate accident, I believe was avoidable, ops are trained to watch out for alarming numbers of boats in certain places. On dragon falls it used to be six or seven in top trough, there was a boat which actually mounted the boat in front during testing and ended up perched over the roof of tomb blaster after lift 3 (pre final drop) had failed! The same applied for the station, stacking on water rides with multiple boats is really dangerous. It's quite easy for a situation to arise where a boat has the potential to crush or be crushed by, the boat in front.
 

Joey

Well-Known Member
Thing is though that staff cannot be blamed for lapses in concentration - they're human. There really should be better preventative measures in place than "staff have to watch out for it". And increasingly there is. More sensors, alarms, etc.

Ever since that horrible accident at Cedar Point where the boat flipped I've wondered if all water rides should be attached to a track throughout their layouts.

I think the way US water rides are with multiple staff positioned throughout is a better methodology than one operator with CCTV, though. I dunno how the Aussie one was? Being physically in place allows an element of predictive and preventative observance. Sound plays a huge part.

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Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
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Re: ACCIDENT At Dreamworld Australia!

Joey said:
Ever since that horrible accident at Cedar Point where the boat flipped I've wondered if all water rides should be attached to a track throughout their layouts.

Given that the "random" spinning and zig-zagging of rapids is a huge part of their appeal, I don't think tracks would be the way to go. I'd suggest to have an on-board gyroscope on every raft, which E-stops the ride if it detects excessive tilting. Of course, ironing out glitches in the system would require a lot of work, and the need for batteries on board would increase maintenance costs somewhat, but this should be doable with a component the size of a LEGO brick given today's technology.
 

Joey

Well-Known Member
Re: ACCIDENT At Dreamworld Australia!

That's a cool idea! Though I guess my point is rather that if it's so "easy" for water ride boats to flip, then maybe rides reliant on not being tethered shouldn't exist? But, I can't actually think of any other rapids boat flip accidents, mind you. So I guess it's not really a reasonable concern that they potentially can. Just like for example, how Smiler having a bumper was not necessary, because it's not a reasonable concern that it might crash in the first place. It is a reasonable concern that a road vehicle can crash, so measures are put in place to reduce the harm.

Water ride boats mounting each other is definitely fairly common, though. If they stack up far enough to the point where a boat traveling at speed (such as after a drop) or as was the case here, a boat lowering from a higher level, the boat behind can easily end up partially on top of the boat ahead. Measures are obviously in place to prevent this, such as sensors and what not... But you have to remember just how old some flumes are. Reverse engineering in safety measures leads to new H&S concerns. Someone over on reddit was explaining how this ride is probably a bit of a Frankenstein's monster with alterations over the years to enhance reliability or safety. I'd guess this is true of most water rides, especially ones built into the scenery and landscape to a degree that alterations will be costly and thus very minimal.
 

Gazza

Active Member
The ride is probably at the end of its economic life anyway.
Hopefully they just bulldoze the whole Goldrush section. There's an old skyride station and the old eureka mountain mine coaster sitting dormant, and the Maurer Skyloop is only on the edge of the area, so might as well start a fresh.
 

Joey

Well-Known Member
I really need to go find my "I survived the Thunder River Rapids" t-shirt. It's in the loft I think.
 

Pear

Active Member
Sorry to bump this thread but more information has recently come to light and it's not looking good for the park. I highly recommend you read through all of this as it is very interesting.

-The ride's pumps had failed twice the same day.

-Unqualified personnel were forced to reset the pumps due to lack of staff.

-There was no indicator of when the water was too low, as Dreamworld didn't want to buy a bucket of paint to draw the line of "minimum water height" that would have altered staff that a pump had failed as the water was too low.

-Maintenance was $125,000 over budget, so Ardent Leisure (owners of the park) had a 100% complete shut off of maintenance funds.

-The park needed to have 6 safety managers, but due to cost cutting, only one was hired.

-Due to wanting to reduce maintenance, when a board broke on the conveyors belt, it was never replaced, they only ever fixed every 3rd board.

-While most rapids rides have approx. 6-7 employees operating the attraction, Dreamworld had 2 to cut cost (against the ride maker's discretion).

-The unload operator was responsible for completing 36-38 tasks per minute, making it impossible to fully make sure that no corners were cut in performing all of them.

-The unload employee had received little to no training, and did not know what the big red button did (the emergency stop button).

-The unload employee was supposedly told what the button did, which she and others deny, however, she had never pushed it and didn't truly know what its functions were.

-The load station employee was in the middle of checking restraints when the employee shouted to stop the ride, leading for a massive delay as he jumped out of the boat, sprinted across the platform, and got his key into the loading panel to activate it.

-The wiring was a "rat's nest" according to an electrician, meaning when he pushed the emergency stop, the circuit essentially fried and did nothing, so he had to push the slow stop button, which took almost 8 seconds to stop the ride (while this may sound quick, imagine people are being crushed under a conveyor in front of your eyes, intense screaming, blood pouring out, and knowing people are dying in front of your eyes and you can't do anything to stop it. Now count to 8 Mississippi's in your head).

-Once the two employees got the ride to stop, they attempted to save the victims, however, they had never received any first aid training, so they provided little services except calling for actual help, and holding the mangled bodies that floated out, hoping that if they were alive, they wouldn't be feeling any pain.

-Medical experts assume the riders died almost instantly from being thrown and crushed, however, they did say that there was a high probability that they were in intense pain as they were crushed under the conveyor.

-The raft next in line when the accident occurred contained the father and child of the lady riding in the flipped raft, and they were forced to sit there for an hour while they pulled the girl's mother from the water.

-The park had limited medical staff, with little to no medical training, meaning that even if the riders had had a chance of making it, they probably wouldn't have due to a several minute delay in medical care.

-The reason this collision happened is the first boat bottomed out and the second boat collided and rolled up and over as the conveyor belt moved, this wouldn't have happened had the water level been at an acceptable height.

-Management cut the safety manual, that hadn't been updated in over 6 years, portion regarding the flipped rafts so they wouldn't appear in non-compliance for failing to train their employees on how to deal with it.

-Thunder rapids employees were supposedly trained that they never had permission to push an emergency stop button unless the safety manager okay-d it, and although Ardent has denied this, several employees confirmed that claim.

-The acceptable water level line was explained, per trainers, as a scum line, and "If it drops below that, you keep the paying guests moving through that line, maintenance will show up and reset the pumps." Yes, they're resetting the attraction while guests were on it, yes, you read that correctly.

-The park had a policy stating that if a ride had a mechanical failure, you were to reboot it twice, and if it happened again, shut down the ride for the day, the raft flip was the 3rd mechanical failure that day.

-Only 2 of the 14 people on Dreamworld's board had any sort of safety training at any time.

-Despite repeated notifications, the park never installed live-feed cameras throughout the attraction, so if this accident had happened anywhere else in the attraction, they wouldn't have known until the raft got back to the station.

-If live-feed cameras were there, there was a chance that in the 57 seconds between the raft bottoming out and the collision that security would have contacted the operator and stopped the attraction in time.

-The poor ride op had received under 40 minutes of training in the morning, and then was enjoying her first ever shift alone.

-The control panel was so outdated and so poorly wired that the e-stop wouldn't have worked without the key activating the panel where the e-stop was. This was because they modified the loading a couple years after it opened from a turntable loading system, to a 2 raft, straight lane loading system, and instead of hiring a reputable electrician, they hired a cheap one.

-The ride had a massive pileup and overturn during original testing time, so they put that in the safety pamphlet, then in 2012, they realized that they never trained any of their employees on how to deal with such a situation, so rather than have important information in the book and receive large fines for never training them on it, they simply cut it out (if it's not in the pamphlet, we can't be held liable for employees not knowing how to handle it).

-The manual would have told the girl to hit her e-stop button, but since it wasn't in there and she was told essentially "this is a big red button, don't push until someone higher ranking than you tells you to," she didn't push it.

-The employee was supposedly assisting a guest into their wheelchair when the tilt started, she turns back, sees the ride flipping and tries to figure out what to do. She makes a split second decision to ditch the "call maintenance and wait for approval to stop the ride" protocol, yells at the "senior" ride operator, he sees that a raft has flipped over and another one's about to hit it, sprints across the platform and stops the ride. While Ardent claims they trained her to always push in an emergency and that it was the e-stop, she and several others who worked the position before says they were told it would stop the ride, but if something happens, call maintenance supervisor, and if they give you the go-ahead, stop the ride, since they're going to be the ones that have to deal with it if you push it and it's not an emergency.

Huge thanks to this post on Reddit for taking the time to research and write all of this. The information is very shocking as I did not think the ride was in so much disrepair and that the park cut so many corners.
 
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GuyWithAStick

Captain Basic
My god, reading that was hard. It's never good that a park needs to compromise safety in order to save money.

I highly doubt the park will remain open much longer.

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Hixee

Flojector
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All deeply concerning and unacceptable practices, for sure. It's very frustrating to see that sort of complacency end so tragically. It's never happy reading, but it's somewhat worse when you know the systems put in place to prevent these things are being overridden or ignored. I'm sure everyone can understand this sort of thing, but part of my job involves designing buildings that are safe for the occupants, and many of the designs we do rely on trained users following the designed procedures. When these things are ignored, or corners are cut, and things go wrong, people get hurt or killed. It's terribly avoidable for the most part. As much as the Daily Mail (et al) like to make a screaming fuss about E-stops, they're there for a reason.

All of that being said, and I'm not defending the park here at all, but neither you (@Pear) or the Reddit OP have posted any sources for any of this. The reason why the Verruckt report is so powerful is that it's a list of statements (and prosecutions) based on a series of cataloged evidence. Not denying that any of this is true, of course, but I'm always interested to see where this information came from - especially the more anecdotal statements, many of which are the most damming.
 

Hixee

Flojector
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@Hixee The OP on Reddit has said that this information all came from the new trial brought against the park.
Yeah, I read that, but there wasn't any link provided to exactly where this information is coming from. Maybe I've been around the internet for too long, but no linked (or at least, stated) source immediately makes me ask the question.

Like I say, I'm not defending the park, or having a go at you or the Reddit OP or suggesting any of it is a lie. Given the events that occurred, it's hardly like they're telling an unbelievable story!
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
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Administrator
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Really makes you wonder how many places there are with similar practices, but where coincidentally no major accident has happened yet. After all, many safety barriers boil down to being prepared for bad luck, but if bad luck doesn't strike, they can potentially get away with it for years or decades. Until one day...
 

stuart

New Member
Jesus... that is ****ing horrible.
My jaw literally dropped while reading that. If it's accurate, the board members responsible need long sentences.

The poor guy in the raft behind sitting there while that's happened to his wife in front. It's incomprehensible.
 
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