Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Shuts Down River Ride After Fatal Incident In Australia

Image courtesy of WFLA

After four people were killed on a river ride at an Australian amusement park on Tuesday, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has shut down a similar attraction “out of an abundance of caution.”

Two men and two women died on the Thunder River Rapids ride at Dreamworld on Queensland’s Gold Coast after the ride malfunctioned. As a result of that incident, park officials at Busch Gardens in Florida shut down the Congo River Rapids ride on Tuesday, WFLA reports. There has never been a fatal incident on the ride since its opening in 1982, park officials say, but the ride is made by the same manufacturer as the one in Australia, WTSP notes.

“Out of an abundance of caution we have made the decision to close our Congo River Rapids ride while we work with other park operators and ride manufacturers to understand what happened in Australia,” a Busch Gardens spokeswoman said. She adds that all ride attractions are inspected daily to ensure they’re operating properly, and meet all required safety guidelines.

The Thunder River Rapids ride in Australia carried passengers in rafts along a quick-moving river with the assistance of conveyor belts beneath the surface. Two people were ejected from rafts by the malfunction, while two others were caught inside, WFLA reports, but it’s unclear whether the victims who were caught in the ride were trapped under water or caught in the machinery.

Busch Gardens closes Congo River Rapids after 4 killed on similar ride in Australia [WFLA]
Busch Gardens closes water ride after Australia deaths [WTSP]

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