'Miracle' That 2 Girls Survive Australian Amusement Park Accident That Killed 4, Police Say

A raft overturned on the Thunder River Rapids ride.

ByMichael Edison Hayden and Julia Jacobo
October 26, 2016, 4:49 AM

— -- It's a "miracle" that two girls -- ages 13 and 10 -- survived an accident at a popular Australian theme park that killed four people, according to authorities.

The victims were killed after a raft on a water ride turned over on its conveyor belt, police said. Two people were trapped in the machinery after they were thrown from the raft, which flipped backwards after hitting a raft in front of it.

Dreamworld Australia released a statement on Wednesday noting that its “Thunder River Rapids Ride had successfully completed its annual mechanical and structural safety engineering inspection on 29 September 2016.”

The park is scheduled to reopen this on Friday and all proceeds from that day will go to the Australian Red Cross.

"We hope this will be considered the start of the healing process for all concerned," the statement added.

PHOTO: An aerial view shows Queensland Emergency service personnel at the scene of an incident at the amusement theme park Dreamworld, in Coomera, on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, Oct. 25, 2016.
An aerial view shows Queensland Emergency service personnel at the scene of an incident at the amusement theme park Dreamworld, in Coomera, on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, Oct. 25, 2016.
Dan Peled/EPA

After watching the footage, Brian Codd, assistant commissioner of the Queensland Police, said it was "almost a miracle" that anyone survived. Two young girls, ages 13 and 10, survived "through the provenance of God" after they were thrown from the ride but managed to get themselves out, Codd said. All four of the victims killed were adults.

Witnesses described the chaos after a scene in which a malfunction threw two people from the raft and trapped others underneath it. Codd called the accident an "apparent miss-operation or some catastrophe" that he didn't "expect" to happen.

PHOTO: An aerial view shows Queensland Emergency service personnel at the scene of an incident at the amusement theme park Dreamworld, in Coomera, on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, Oct. 25, 2016.
An aerial view shows Queensland Emergency service personnel at the scene of an incident at the amusement theme park Dreamworld, in Coomera, on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, Oct. 25, 2016.
Dan Peled/EPA

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke out Tuesday about the tragedy, telling reporters, "This is a very sad day, and we trust there will be a thorough investigation into the causes of this accident over the days to follow."

PHOTO: An aerial view shows Queensland Emergency service personnel at the scene of an incident at the amusement theme park Dreamworld, in Coomera, on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, Oct. 25, 2016.
An aerial view shows Queensland Emergency service personnel at the scene of an incident at the amusement theme park Dreamworld, in Coomera, on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, Oct. 25, 2016.
Dan Peled/EPA

ABC News's Dominick Proto contributed to this report.

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