Ex-Kawerau woman killed in Dreamworld tragedy named

Newstalk ZB Staff ,
Publish Date
Wed, 26 Oct 2016, 5:32am
Chaplains on the scene after the tragedy at Dreamworld (Getty Images)

Ex-Kawerau woman killed in Dreamworld tragedy named

Newstalk ZB Staff ,
Publish Date
Wed, 26 Oct 2016, 5:32am

UPDATED 12.09pm: The 42-year-old New Zealand woman killed in a tragic accident at Dreamworld was Cindy Low, originally from Kawerau.

LISTEN ABOVE: Australian correspondent Donna Demaio speaks to Rachel Smalley about the Dreamworld tragedy

The mother-of-two lived in Sydney for at least a decade with her Kiwi husband.

They were on holiday on the Gold Coast with their son and daughter.

Low and her 10-year-old son are believed to have been on the Thunder River Rapids ride at Dreamworld yesterday. Her husband and daughter were not on the ride.

The boy was hospitalised at Gold Coast University Hospital where his father remained at his bedside.

He has since been discharged.

Last night, shocked relatives in New Zealand were preparing to rush to the Gold Coast to support the family.

A witness told the Daily Mail that children on the ride screamed, "while their mum was, like, trapped under [the raft]."

Initial investigations suggest a six-seater raft collided with an empty raft that had become stuck near the end of the ride.

It's believed to have then flipped, killing four adults.

In a press conference yesterday, a Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said all victims suffered injuries that were "incompatible with living".

The children were thrown from the ride and then managed to get themselves out of the water.

The only information about what has happened in the incident is that it happened at the conclusion of the ride, at the end where the people get off. Two of the rafts have collided and one has flipped backwards and tossed some of the people backwards into the conveyerbelt. 

Emergency services were called to the scene about 2.20pm Queensland time, to find park staff administering first aid to the victims.

Two men, aged 38 and 35, and two women, aged 42 and 32, died in the accident.

The other victims have been named as Kate Goodchild (nee Dorsett), 32, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi.

This morning, a Queensland police spokesman told the Herald none of the victims lived at New Zealand addresses.

Goodchild's daughter is understood to have been one of the children thrown to safety from the raft. She screamed in horror as she watched her mother die, the Daily Telegraph reported.

A police investigation is ongoing and the deaths have been referred to the coroner.

Queensland Police confirmed CCTV was available and there were a number of witnesses to the incident but wouldn’t say how many.

Police said they owe it to the deceased and their families and community of Queensland to get to the bottom of what caused this and hold anyone accountable. And ensuring that this can never happen again.

These types of investigations are not quick and take time.

Queensland police assistant commander Brian Codd described the initial scene as ‘absolutely traumatic’ for the children who have offered support to the families but also members of the public, child or adult, who saw the incident unfold.

Australia correspondent Donna Demaio said there were reports of problems on that particular ride before the accident.

One witness said they'd been waiting for half an hour because engineers were working on the ride, Demaio reported.

"They drained all the water out, then they had to refill it, and then people were allowed to go back on the ride."

"This witness actually relayed that they were stuck waiting to get on this ride for at least 30 minutes, just a few hours before this incident happened."

A New Zealand woman who was at the amusement park last week told the Herald she got stuck on the ride.

"Management blamed it on water pumps and after 20 minutes' wait we were evacuated by exiting off a steep ramp," she said.

"I believe this was not a one-off accident and could have been avoided."

Police are not aware that the ride was scheduled for maintenance. Specialist engineers will be attending today and examining the componentry associated with the ride and the make-up of the whole ride itself.

Dreamworld is closed until further notice.

Police will not rush the investigation and take the time they're legally allowed to ensure that every stone is turned over so can examine what has occurred.

The rafts involved in the incident have been taken away for forensic examination.

- NZ Herald