By Seamus Boyer
The horror at the Dreamworld theme park this week would have been unimaginable.
It’s the stuff of nightmares, a fun, family activity quickly becoming a tragedy.
Theme parks are where we go to enjoy life, and for four people to die is horrific.
The tragedy took place on the Thunder River Rapids ride at the Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast.
A raft, containing six people in all, was coming up the conveyor belt to a drop-off point when it hit the raft in front of it and suddenly flipped over on to its back.
Two children aboard survived – somehow – but the four adults were killed.
Putting aside the outcome of the investigation into what went wrong, and what could have been done to stop it, the fact is that accidents such as these do happen – they can’t not.
Nothing is completely safe or foolproof, and when you’re dealing with heavy machinery and equipment, the effects are always going to be worse when something goes wrong.
But while the Australian example is an extreme one, others happen constantly, and a lot closer to home.
The example of the boy who fell from his scooter in Carterton this week is a case of something seemingly innocuous quickly turning serious.
The 5-year-old boy was left with “moderate facial injuries” when he fell from his scooter on Tuesday evening.
Paramedics, not wishing to take any chances with a head wound, flew the boy to Wellington Hospital.
Luckily it seems there were no lasting effects.
Things like this happen all the time.
You can rightly argue that the boy should have been wearing a helmet, but kids can fall off trampolines, off bikes and down stairs just as easily.
And there’s not much you can do to stop that.
For the vast majority of us nothing will ever go badly wrong when we’re at a theme park, and most of us will get through life without serious injury from an accident.
But for the people affected and their families, it shows just how quickly things can change.