An Australian court has ordered theme park operator Ardent Leisure Group Ltd to pay a fine of $2.5 million over the deaths of four people in an accident on a river rapids ride.
Two men and two women died almost instantly in October 2016, when two rafts collided before flipping on to the mechanical ramp of the ride at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, in the state of Queensland.
John Osborne is the lawyer for Ardent Leisure.
"Ardent apologizes unreservedly for the past circumstances and failures of Dreamworld that resulted in the tragic loss of four lives and for the ongoing impact that this terrible tragedy has had on so many people. On behalf of the Ardent board and the new Dreamworld leadership team I would also like to express our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of Roozi Araghi, Luke Dorsett, Kate Goodchild, and Cindy Low for their enormous loss."
The fine followed a coroner's finding this year that Ardent had ignored warnings and not done adequate safety checks, with the matter then referred to an industrial prosecutor that brought charges of workplace safety violations against the firm.
The fine ordered by the court was less than the maximum penalty of A$4.5 million prescribed for the charges, to which Ardent had previously pleaded guilty.
Ardent has also reportedly paid about $3.5 million in lawsuits by people affected by the accident.