Australia's biggest theme park has been fined $3.6 million (£2 million) over the horrific deaths of four customers on a ride.

Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett, Roozbeh Araghi and Cindy Low were all killed in October 2016 while riding the Thunder River Rapids Ride at Dreamworld in Queensland.

The four adults died almost instantly when their raft collided with another and overturned, crushing its passengers on a conveyor belt in shallow water.

Workplace Health and Safety prosecutor Aaron Guilfoyle told Southport court on Monday the raft was lifted vertically before it dropped into a horizontal position.

The movement of the conveyor belt then pulled the raft into the mechanism.

"It ripped pieces of fibreglass from the raft which shook violently causing Ms Goodchild and Mr Dorsett to fall," Mr Guilfoyle said.

"Ms Turner was held dangling in her seat by the velcro seatbelt and Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low seated at the rear of the raft were pulled into the moving components."

Two children, aged 10 and 12, were also onboard the raft but survived.

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An inquiry found a malfunctioning pump near the end of the ride was responsible for the tragic accident.

Ardent Leisure, the parent company of Dreamworld, said it accepted responsibility and had worked to improve safety standards.

But on Monday Mr Guilfoyle told the court there were other factors besides the pump failure at play, and said the ride was poorly maintained by staff and its shutdown procedures were inadequate.

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The court found Ardent had failed in its duty of care and should have taken steps to make the ride safer.

"Steps were not that complex or burdensome and only mildly inconvenient and really were inexpensive," Magistrate Pamela Dowse said.

"They operated the most iconic amusement park in the country, which targeted and attracted families.

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The company was fined $3.6 million (£2 million), which the Magistrate said reflected the severity of Ardent's failure.

Chief executive John Osborne said: "Ardent accepts responsibility for this tragedy, and we fully accept the consequences."

The grieving families of the victims also delivered statements to the court.

"That Cindy died violently is unacceptable to us," said Helen Cook, aunt to Ms Low.

"Knowing her death could have been avoided is unacceptable and infuriating."

Dreamworld shut down for six weeks after the accident and demolished the Thunder River Rapids Ride, which had not had a comprehensive safety risk for more than 30 years, a coroner found.

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