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Thunder River Rapids Incident Coronial Inquest

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there was an incident on the Hotwheels Sidewinder where a train was dispatched from the station with a guests restraint not being locked down.

say what? Thought there was a safety redundancy that negates this to be able to happen unless the ride was in maintenance mode?

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Part of the reason for contacting Intamin in 2016 was due to rafts taking on water and the ride having to shut down for 30 minutes each day to drain the water from the rafts. In June 2016, Dreamworld got in contact with another company “dynamic attractions” about replacing the rafts. They quoted $12k per raft for 10 new rafts. It appears as though the contract with Dynamic Attractions was in its final stages before the incident happened. The Intamin communications were just emails back and forward. A company named “PFi” was contracted to undertake the PLC upgrades in 2015-16. There was also discussions in August 2016 about having a compressor replaced on the ride too.

2 hours ago, Brad2912 said:

there was an incident on the Hotwheels Sidewinder where a train was dispatched from the station with a guests restraint not being locked down.

say what? Thought there was a safety redundancy that negates this to be able to happen unless the ride was in maintenance mode?

This was brought up recently and discussed heavily. I believe @AlexB(?) figured out that old arrow trains had this ability but the new Kumbak trains couldn’t, which was part of the reason for the upgrade. I think it was mentioned in a news piece on ABC or Channel 7, when they obtained documents from Dreamworld and that was the first time it had come out that sidewinder had that issue.  

Mr Watkins has just finished giving evidence and we have adjourned for lunch. I unfortunately have to depart again but rest assured I’ll be back tomorrow morning. 

Edited by Jdude95
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Quote

 

A DREAMWORLD technician has laid the blame for the Thunder River Rapids Ride disaster on ride operators not following procedures, the inquest into the tragedy which killed four people was told yesterday.

The theme park’s electrical engineering supervisor Scott Ritchie said operating procedures should have been followed the day of the incident.

“There was no risk,” Mr Ritchie said. “The pump was not the cause in my opinion of what happened there on that horrible day.”

Barrister Matthew Hickey, acting for the family of victim Cindy Low, asked: “That’s because you say there were procedures in place the operators should have followed?”

Mr Ritchie replied: “Yes, sir. That’s what I say.”

The supervisor had previously told the inquest he had not read the operator’s procedures manual.

Mr Ritchie told the inquest he was not concerned about the pump’s malfunction posing a risk to riders after it broke down for the second time in the lead up to the disaster.

It broke down a total of six times the week of the disaster.

“I did not have concern with the pump stopping because we had procedures in place … to bring rafts home,” he said.

Mr Ritchie said the first five times the pump broke down operators were able to bring the ride home safely.

 

 

 

 

Mr Ritchie sounds like a tool who is looking of wipe his hands of an issue that was well and truly his responsibility and within the scope of his role. 

To say it doesn’t matter that the pumps are always broken as long as someone else does their job is passing the buck in the most extreme of terms. 

The whole idea of safety and redundancies is not to rest on your laurels in hope the final level - operator/human influence - stops a tragedy. 

I wonder if that’s why BS was retrofitted with seatbelts as an extra layer of safety redundancy, so Mr Ritchie could rely on the belts if he couldn’t be bothered fixing a harness that wouldnt secure correctly... after all, why fix it as nothing will go wrong as long as the ride ops ensure the seatbelt is done up...

Edited by Brad2912

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Yesterday I would say was the most damning day yet. 

1) rides should never rely on the operator for safety and 100% it is engineering’s job to ensure there are contingencies in place to ensure operator error doesn’t compromise safety!

 

2) just so everyone is aware, $10k is a TINY TINY amount for a controls upgrade. I’m dumbfounded how they couldn’t approve that on the spot. Basically this is saying that a life to Dreamworld wasn’t even worth $2500 a piece because that’s all it would have taken to prevent this.

 

3) the second that this ride was identified to have inadequate safety systems it should have been shut down until they were brought up to scratch. No excuses whatsoever. 

 

4) Scott is a dispicable  human being IMO.

Edited by joz
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  • Nauseating 1

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We can all safely assume that Mr Ritchie does not want to go to jail or be the one to take all the blame for this but that is really low to so utterly throw the ride operators under the bus especially if all they had to gauge the water level was a frigging scrim on a wall. 

It hasn't been the easiest to keep track of all the details but did any alarms or warnings go off when one of the pumps failed and if so would the procedure been to start closing the ride or keep going if one of the pumps was still running? If they had no alarm or if the procedure was to keep going then it seems an especially tough case to make to say they were at fault.

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I'm still super sick so I've had to miss today but I can say that Mr Ritchie is very much trying to cover his ass as it's the one on the line here after previous evidence that has been given. He has pushed all the blame onto the ride ops and refuses to believe this could even happen. If it was up to Mr Ritchie, he would have hosed off the blood and turned the ride back on.

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I can't help but wonder why he didn't try to blame higher management as we have seen evidence that they wanted spending on maintenance to be reduced or outright stopped, surly he could have made a case that he and the maintenance team were under pressure not to spend money but keep the rides going. Then add on top and say that he was unaware of the past incidents and that he couldn't of imagined something like this happening.

I know this wouldn't absolve him completely but it would feel like a much more believeable story and would fit in more with the testimony and evidence we have witnessed so far.

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I won’t pretend to be overly knowledgeable about criminal codes & judicial/coronial hearings, but would I be right in saying the outcomes of this coronial inquest could lead to criminal charges? Penalties and fines to the park? Or is this purely fact finding to establish cause and effect, and then a separate criminal investigation/charging/court case follows?

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@Brad2912

At the conclusion of the inquest the coroner must deliver findings in which he/she establishes how they died. 

Coronial inquests also have two other functions. The first is the coroner’s power to make recommendations. Part of the coroner’s duty is to consider from the evidence whether any recommendations or opinions should be publicly expressed with a view to avoiding similar deaths occurring in the future.  This would be around regulating ride safety through inspections/staffing/operating hours/retiring or completely refurbishing rides after a certain age, etc.

The second function of the coronial inquest is for the coroner to determine whether there is a reasonable suspicion that someone has committed an offence of some sort. A coroner may suspect that someone is responsible for the person’s death, for example due to manslaughter or negligence. If the coroner reasonably suspects such involvement, the coroner has a duty to refer information gathered during an investigation (and inquest) to the relevant agency/agencies, usually the Director of Public Prosecutions. The coroner does not personally express a view about possible guilt, but simply refers the information to the proper government agency for a decision to be made by that other body.

Hope this helps.

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45 minutes ago, Skeeta said:

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That's akin to taking your car to the shop for new tyres, driving the car 12 feet off the lot before all four rims fall off the car, and then the tyre shop asking you to pay them for their work.

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1 hour ago, AlexB said:

That's akin to taking your car to the shop for new tyres, driving the car 12 feet off the lot before all four rims fall off the car, and then the tyre shop asking you to pay them for their work.

True but you wouldn't ask the tyre shop to rebuild your motor.  The recurring problem I see is DW tasked companies to perform specific jobs.   If I go to a tyre shop and get fitted some brand spanker new tyres and I drive 12 feet down the road and the motor goes bang, do I still have to pay the tyre shop?  The inspector’s job was to sign off what was working in front of him.   The e-stop button worked.  No automated PLC to test.   Tick, tick, tick.

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Edited by Skeeta

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2 minutes ago, Jdude95 said:

Have you heard of the term "gargoyling"?
That has pretty much been me the last couple of days... trust me when I say the coverage is literally shit. 😅

Did you know diarrhea is hereditary?

It runs in your jeans!

7 minutes ago, AlexB said:

This @Jdude95 coverage is shit. I'm switching to PCL!

You never really appreciate what you've got until it's gone.

Toilet paper is a good example

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A better option would be the raft not to capsize but would I know.

  • Haha 2

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Thanks man! I'm doing everything I can to get past it so I can at least make it tomorrow for the last day of this hearing. Andrew Fyfe seems fairly level headed and isn't just doing a "Ritchie" and blaming it all on someone else. He is being very open and honest and seems like he tried to suggest changes to management but they were denied and he was removed from the leadership team. I feel sorry for him because he tried to help but was chastised by insane and downright ridiculous management.

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1 hour ago, Jdude95 said:

Have you heard of the term "gargoyling"?
That has pretty much been me the last couple of days... trust me when I say the coverage is literally shit. 😅

It's a shame you're sequestered in a separate room. If you were in the hearing room, you could have coughed all over Ritchie, maybe even shook hands with him...

  • Haha 4

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