Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Dreamworld inquest: Ride broke down several times before fatal accident

Dreamworld inquest: Ride broke down several times before fatal accident

Late previous year, Kim Dorsett, mother of Ms Goodchild and Mr Dorsett, said the 12 months on from the incident had been filled with tears and disbelief, where even "getting out of bed can be a major achievement".

A second overflow court room, with a live feed of proceedings, will be set up due to the large amount of media, family and lawyers.

Earlier, Det Sgt Brown told the inquest the pump failed at 11.50am and then again at 1.09pm before being reset.

Queensland Emergency service personnel at Dreamworld.

Counsel assisting the victims, Ken Fleming QC, read from an email obtained from a Dreamworld staff member during the investigation of the 2001 incident when ride rafts backed up: "I shudder when I think if there had been guests on the ride".

Police said it was a near miracle the two children escaped with their lives after being on the raft that flipped at the end of its ride due to a malfunctioning mechanism.

Det Sgt Brown said multiple safety recommendations such as the inclusion of an emergency stop button on the main control panel and the installation of CCTV footage for the unloading area operator were not implemented.

It has also been heard the ride malfunctioned twice in the hours before the tragic incident, and that engineering staff didn't attend the site the second time it happened.

The long-awaited inquest began on Monday in a packed Southport Coroners Court.

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"The problem was described as an earth fault with the south pump, that's the terminology that was used", she said.

"Operators at the control panel had to take a number of steps to shut down the ride, there was nothing that shut down everything", she said.

Dreamworld suffered steep falls in visitor numbers and parent company Ardent Leisure also felt a major drop in revenue following the fatal accident.

The four died instantly when their water ride overturned, crushing them.

Mr Fleming said one incident, in January 2001, had resulted in several empty rafts colliding at the unloading point of the ride.

Detective Sergeant Brown said an emergency stop button at the unload area was created to halt the conveyor within two seconds.

Nearly 40 witnesses will be called to give evidence at the inquest over two weeks.

The families have sought answers and relatives of Ms Low have said how they hoped the probe would prevent others from suffering "such enormous heartbreak".

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