Ardent Leisure Group CEO gets death threats following Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids ride accident

By @vitthernandez on
Ardent Leisure CEO Deborah Thomas
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Deborah Thomas (L) of Australia's Ardent Leisure Group, the owner of the amusement park Dreamworld where four people were killed on a water ride this week, reacts as she sits with company Director George Venardos after the company's annual general meeting (AGM) in Sydney, Australia, October 27, 2016. Reuters/David Gray

Ardent Leisure Group CEO Deborah Thomas and her family received several death threats through social media days after the tragic Thunder River Rapids ride accident at the Dreamworld Australia theme park where four people died. The death threats came after an Australian newspaper published photos of the Point Piper apartment building in Sydney where she lives and the private school where her teenage son attends classes.

She had referred the death threats to the New South Wales police for investigation, Sydney Morning Herald reports. The company backtracked on its previous announcement of reopening the park three days after Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett, Roozbeh Araghi and Cindy Low were killed while aboard the ill-fated ride which crashed into an empty raft and flipped over backwards.

The announcement received criticism, causing Ardent to keep Dreamworld closed until now, eight days after the accident. The incident has resulted in a sell down in shares of Dreamworld’s parent company which also owns the WhiteWater World theme park in Gold Coast, AMF Bowling Centres and several Main Event bowling and leisure centres in the US.

On Tuesday, shareprice of Ardent closed at $2. Given the situation, partly caused by the mishandling of Dreamworld in contacting the families of the victims after the accident, there are fears the theme park may remain permanently closed or visitors would be significantly lesser if the park reopens.

On the same day, James McDougall, a coroner, and several Gold Coast detectives reenacted the events last week on the closed ride. McDougall says he expects the probe into the death of the four theme park visitors to take several months to finish.

During the reenactment, they used weighted crash test dummes in one of the ride’s rafts. The coroner describes the reeanactment and investigation process as very complicated. The bodies of the four victims were released on Monday for burial after the post-mortem examinations.

Join the Discussion