Failure to follow procedure led to Dreamworld tragedy, inquest told

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Mr Ritchie insisted that journey operators appropriately following procedures would forestall accidents.

He admitted he had not learn the procedures for journey operators and solely had a “imprecise concept” of what operators have been educated to do.

Police cars outside Dreamworld in October 2016, after the tragedy.

Police vehicles outdoors Dreamworld in October 2016, after the tragedy.Credit score:Glenn Hunt/Fairfax Media

He agreed operators below stress may neglect their coaching.

In February 2016, the Thunder River Rapids Journey was left working and unattended, with rafts flowing by way of the journey and a upkeep trolley additionally being taken down the journey.

Mr Ritchie wrote an electronic mail to Dreamworld’s engineering workers telling them he had reminded all workers of right process on the time.

Questioned over the 2 emergency cease buttons on the journey – a nine-second conveyor cease on the journey operator’s most important panel and a two-second quick cease on the unload space – Mr Ritchie backtracked on preliminary proof stating that he didn’t know what the nine-second button did.

In a video of a walkthrough with police inspectors he performed shortly after the tragedy, Mr Ritchie was seen describing what the nine-second cease button did.

“In reflection, I knew what that did – I used to be below a number of stress, sir,” Mr Ritchie informed Mr Whybrow on Wednesday.

Mr Whybrow requested Mr Ritchie if he thought it acceptable for there to be no fast-stop button for the senior journey operator to press in occasion of an emergency.

“As a result of there have been two operators I don’t assume that was obligatory,” Mr Ritchie stated.

On the day of the tragedy, the two-second quick cease was not pressed when the raft carrying the 4 victims got here excessive of the conveyor and collided with an empty raft near the unload space, flipping over and killing all 4.

Junior journey operator Courtney Williams gave proof to the inquest in June that she didn’t press the button and was not conscious of what it did.

Senior journey operator Peter Nemeth informed the inquest in June he had pressed the nine-second button at his operator panel and was horrified to see the conveyor proceed to maneuver.

A 2013 audit of the journey advisable simplifying the Thunder River Rapids Journey’s emergency shutdown process to automate it with a single shutdown button.

Mr Ritchie informed the inquest he stood by a analysis he made on the south water pump on the Saturday earlier than the tragedy, and was assured the pump’s repeated breakdowns weren’t a danger to visitor or workers security.

He had organized for an exterior servicing technician, Michael Takac, to go to Dreamworld and examine on Thursday, however the deadly accident occurred earlier than Mr Takac had attended.

He additionally stated that if Wayne Cox, the engineering supervisor on obligation with him that Tuesday, had escalated the second pump breakdown to him, he “would have taken motion” to close down the journey for the day.

Dreamworld’s personal insurance policies required a journey to be shut down till a supervisor had inspected and cleared it if the identical fault occurred twice inside 24 hours, that means the Thunder River Rapids Journey shouldn’t have been working when the tragedy occurred.

An electronic mail from Mr Ritchie to exterior contractors PFI confirmed that security upgrades to the journey have been delayed by three months to February 2016, as a result of Mr Ritchie couldn’t safe $2400 in additional time funds.

The additional time was wanted to make sure the security upgrades didn’t lower into the theme park’s opening hours and danger the extraordinarily standard Thunder River Rapids Journey being closed to company.

Concluding his proof on Wednesday morning, Mr Ritchie stood and requested for permission to deal with the households of the 4 victims.

After an typically combative two-day session of giving proof during which he spoke clearly and decisively, Mr Ritchie’s voice wavered for the primary time.

“I deeply apologise for not having the ability to make eye contact with you throughout this time,” he informed the households.

“I wished to provide my proof with out emotion.

“Please settle for my sympathies for all the pieces you’re going by way of.”

The inquest continues.

Lucy is a reporter for Brisbane Instances with a particular curiosity in well being, science and analysis.

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