Dreamworld on the Gold Coast is likely to reopen in time for the Christmas rush – but it will permanently dismantle the ride that killed four people in October. Meanwhile, in another theme park far away, something eerily similar is happening.
In Kansas City, a theme park is dismantling the world’s tallest water slide. It killed a 10-year-old boy, who broke his neck riding it in August.
The American boy was riding on a raft with two women (who suffered minor injuries) when the tragedy happened. They were on the Verruckt water slide at Schlitterbahn waterpark in Kansas. The 51.4-metre Verruckt (the name means insane in German) sends riders hurtling down 17 storeys at up to 80 km/h. It will now be dismantled, closed permanently and removed.
To be dismantled permanently, Verruckt water slide at Schlitterbahn, Kansas
“In our opinion, it is the only proper course of action following this tragedy,” the operators said.
In Queensland, Ardent Leisure, which owns Gold Coast themepark Dreamworld, will dismantle and permanently close the Thunder River Rapids water ride that killed four people in October.
Announcing the closure of Thunder River Rapids, Ardent Leisure chief executive and managing director, Deborah Thomas, said it was the “only respectful and appropriate course of action”.
To be dismantled permanently, Thunder River Rapids Ride at Dreamworld
Queensland’s Industrial Relations Minister, Grace Grace, says she expects Dreamworld will reopen well in time to catch the busy Christmas period, after the park implements recommendations in the safety audit.
Grace welcomed Dreamworld’s commitment to comply with seven improvement notices issued by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, Brisbane’s Courier-Mail reported.
Grace says she understands Dreamworld has engaged international specialists and external engineers to ensure guests are safe.
Written by Peter Needham