Four killed in accident on Dreamworld's Thunder River Rapids ride

Four died on Dreamworld's Thunder River Rapids ride
Four died on Dreamworld's Thunder River Rapids ride

Four people have been killed in an accident at Australia's popular Dreamworld theme park.

Emergency services held a press conference outside the park, near Queensland's Gold Coast tourist hotspot, at 5 p.m. local time to give some details of the incident, which occurred about three hours earlier on one of the park's water rides.

Gavin Fuller of the Queensland Ambulance Service said that the four adults - two men and two women, aged between 32 and "early 40s" - were on the Thunder River Rapids ride, which runs six-person rafts on a conveyor belt through through fast-flowing water, when the ride "malfunctioned."

The malfunction caused two people to be ejected from the ride and the other two to be caught "inside the ride," he said.

"All sustained injuries that were incompatible with living," he said, although park staff attempted to render first aid before ambulance officers arrived.

Inspector Todd Reid of the Queensland Police Service's (QPS) declined to identify the individuals or comment on whether they were related. He said the incident had been made subject to a coronial investigation and a workplace health and safety investigation.

Dreamworld chief executive Craig Davidson told the press conference that the park was closed while staff worked with police and emergency services to investigate.

"We're deeply shocked and saddened by this and our hearts and our thoughts go to the families involved and their loved ones," Davidson said.

Local media posted aerial footage apparently showing the deceased covered by sheets near the ride.

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.