Busch Gardens reopens Congo River Rapids following tragedy in Australia

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Busch Gardens reopened the Congo River Rapids ride on Wednesday morning following a safety inspection.

The theme park closed the ride as a precautionary measure on Tuesday afternoon after four people were killed on a similar ride in Australia.

Officials in Australia say two men and two women died while on the Thunder River Rapids ride after it malfunctioned at Dreamworld, a popular theme park on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

“Out of an abundance of caution we have made the decision to close our Congo River Rapids ride while we work with other park operators and ride manufacturers to understand what happened in Australia,” a Busch Gardens spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those involved in the tragic incident at the Dreamworld park. The safety of guests and team members continues to be Busch Gardens’ number one priority. All ride attractions are inspected daily by trained technicians to ensure they are operating properly and meet all safety guidelines set forth by state agencies and well as the ride manufacturers,” the spokeswoman added.

On Wednesday morning, Busch Gardens announced it was reopening the ride and released the following statement:

“Out of an abundance of caution, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay closed Congo River Rapids to make a thorough review of our operating and redundant safety procedures in place, as a continued commitment to guest safety. That review has been completed, and the ride will reopen today, October 26, 2016.”

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