The deaths of four people at Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids ride in the Gold Coast has sent shockwaves around the world, and yesterday the Busch Gardens theme park in Florida announced it would shut a similar ride “out of an abundance of caution”.
“We have made the decision to close our Congo River Rapids ride while we work with other park operators and ride manufacturers to understand what happened in Australia,” Busch Gardens spokeswoman Karen Varga-Sinka told FOX 13.
The four people who were killed at Dreamworld were Kate Goodchild, 32, her brother Luke Dorsett, his partner Roozi Araghi and 42-year-old Cindy Low.
Tragically, the accident was witnessed by the two women’s children.
News.com.au reports that two of the victims were drowned, and two others were crushed in the ride’s machinery when their raft collided with a stationery raft.
The decision by the US theme park comes as Dreamworld announces that it will reopen this Friday for a memorial day, with entry proceeds to Australian Red Cross, who have been working directly with the affected families.
According to The Brisbane Times, Dreamworld has released a statement, saying "The Thunder River Rapids ride had successfully completed its annual mechanical and structural safety engineering inspection on 29 September 2016."