Australia's Dreamworld theme park to reopen after ride deaths

The gates to Australian theme park Dreamworld Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Gold Coast theme park has been closed since 25 October

Australia's Dreamworld theme park will reopen on 10 December, six weeks after four people died in a ride malfunction.

Two victims were thrown from the Thunder River Rapids ride and two were trapped inside in the tragedy on 25 October.

Dreamworld said it would demolish the ride and conduct a "multi-level" independent safety review.

The park, on Queensland's Gold Coast, will reopen with a charity weekend in time for local school holidays.

The families of the victims - Kate Goodchild, 32, Luke Dorsett, 35, Roozbeh Araghi, 38, and Cindy Low, 42 - are understood to have been informed about the development.

Image copyright AAP Image/Supplied
Image caption (L-R) Kate Goodchild and Luke Dorsett were siblings, while Roozbeh Araghi was Mr Dorsett's partner. Cindy Low was not known to the three.

Dreamworld's owner Ardent Leisure said the attraction and its adjoining water park, Whitewater World, would only offer rides that had passed rigorous safety checks.

"Dreamworld's other rides will progressively open as they are signed off as part of the safety review process," the company said in a statement.

Dreamworld chief Craig Davidson said four independent safety investigations will have been conducted by 10 December.

One investigation, by Queensland Workplace Health and Safety, last week issued seven improvement notices for Dreamworld and Whitewater World.

The investigation found a faded "emergency stop" button on the Green Room Waterslide, outdated protective equipment on the Flowrider and a register to notify authorities about storing hazardous chemicals.

Mr Davidson said Dreamworld would donate A$25 (£15; $19) to the Red Cross for every ticket sold at the "Open Hearts - Open Doors" charity weekend.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Ardent Leisure said the closure of both parks throughout November 2016 would "result in no significant revenue being recorded for that month".

It noted that the parks earned A$7.6m in the corresponding period last year.

Ardent said the parks incurred operating costs of between A$4m and A$4.2m for the period and that the company expected to incur "one-off costs of A$1.6m associated with the tragedy" through insurance claims.

A coroner's investigation into the deaths is ongoing.

Dreamworld has hosted 30 million people since opening in 1981, with October's tragedy its first fatal accident.

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