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World parks await Dreamworld probe

AAP logoAAP 26/10/2016 By Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent

Theme park executives and safety experts around the world are awaiting the results of the investigation into the horrific deaths at Queensland's Dreamworld.

The tragedy caused headlines across the globe and one major US park, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, shut its Congo River Rapids ride down for a day to conduct a review.

The Orlando-based International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, representing facilities in 99 nations, is an interested observer in the Dreamworld investigation.

"Once the investigation into the Dreamworld accident is complete, if new learning emerges, that information will be taken into account as industry standards are reviewed and updated," IAAPA spokesman David Mandt told AAP on Wednesday.

Four people were killed on Dreamworld's Thunder River Rapids ride on Tuesday when a six-seater circular raft flipped.

The IAAP, which develops safety standards for parks, deems the highest levels of safety as fundamental to the industry's existence.

Approximately 335 million people visit amusement parks in the US each year and safely take 1.6 billion rides.

The organisation states the likelihood of a serious injury - requiring an overnight stay in hospital - is one in 16 million.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay spokesperson Karen Varga-Sinka said the safety of its guests and employees at the Florida park was its top priority so the decision was made to temporarily close its Congo River Rapids to the public on Tuesday.

It re-opened on Wednesday.

The decision to conduct the review was made despite the Congo River Rapids having a different manufacturer and design to Dreamworld's Thunder River Rapids.

"As a continued commitment to guest safety and out of an abundance of caution, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay closed Congo River Rapids to review our existing operating and extensive safety procedures," Ms Varga-Sinka said.

"That review has been completed and the ride will reopen today."

Comment was also being sought from Disneyland, which has the Grizzly River Run ride at its California Adventure park.

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