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Four people were killed Tuesday when a water ride malfunctioned at Australia’s biggest theme park.
Two of the victims were thrown from the Thunder River Rapids Ride at Dreamworld, a theme park located in Queensland, and two others were trapped inside the ride.
"One of the rides had sustained some sort of malfunction, causing two people to be ejected from a ride, another two people were caught inside the ride," Gavin Fuller, acting senior operations supervisor for Queensland Ambulance Service, told reporters, hinting at the severity of the accident by adding that emergency personnel on the scene were "deeply affected by this terrible incident."
The four victims were identified only as two men, ages 35 and 32, and two women, ages 42 and 38. Australia's 9News reported that they all might be from the same family.
“Police are currently investigating an incident that occurred this afternoon at a theme park on the Gold Coast,” according to a police statement. “Police were called to the site at Coomera around 2:20 p.m. (12:20 a.m. Tuesday morning ET) following reports that a number of people had been injured by a conveyor belt.”
Dreamworld, which has more than 50 rides and attractions, issued a statement saying “We are working as quickly as possible to establish the facts around the incident and is working closely with emergency authorities and police to do this."
The Thunder River Rapids ride opened in 1986 at the park. Dreamworld described it as a “moderate thrill” ride for families with children older than two years of age. The ride, a circular raft, carries six people.
NOTE: TravelPulse.com will update this story as news warrants.