Busch Gardens closes ride similar to one that killed 4 in Australia

TAMPA (WSVN) — Busch Gardens is closing one of its rides after four people died on a similar ride in Australia, Monday.

The Tampa park said their Congo River Rapids attraction is similar to the ride that malfunctioned at the Dreamworld park on Queensland state’s Gold Coast, killing four adults. Two were thrown from the ride and two were trapped either in the machinery or underwater.

Busch Gardens announced that the Congo River Rapids will be closed until engineers review it. In the attraction, riders take a circular raft down a man-made river and into a pool.

“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,” said Busch Gardens spokesperson Karen Varga-Sinka. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those involved in the tragic incident at the Dreamworld park. The safety of guests and team members continues to be Busch Gardens’ number one priority. All ride attractions are inspected daily by trained technicians to ensure they are operating properly and meet all safety guidelines set forth by state agencies as well as the ride manufacturers.”

Australian authorities said they are not yet sure what exactly malfunctioned, but rescuers were originally told a conveyor belt was the problem.

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