A teenager who witnessed the fatal ferris wheel accident at Dubai’s Global Village believes the victim died while trying to make sure his child was safe.
Eyewitness Afshan Usman, 19, relived the horror yesterday as he told 7DAYS how the 37-year-old Emirati man died instantly when a piece of metal dislodged from the 60m-high ferris wheel and decapitated him on Thursday night.
Usman said: “Suddenly we heard some noises that sounded like something was breaking. People were pointing to the wheel as if something was falling down.
“Everyone was panicking and running around. Then this huge thing landed on the ground making a very loud sound.” Usman recalled in a quivering voice: “Just after people ran out of the way, I saw the man lying on the floor, his head was broken off.”
The teen, who was just a metre away from the drama, said he was unsure why the victim could not escape in time. “Maybe he couldn’t move fast because he had a trolley and some shopping bags - and his child was sitting on the trolley, so maybe he was trying to save her first,” he said.
Usman said the sobbing girl then ran to him, adding: “She was crying and looked shocked.” The Madonna University student said that authorities arrived on the scene and evacuated the area. However, Usman said he didn’t leave until officials took custody of the little girl who appeared to be about five or six years old. “She was standing next to me crying so I couldn’t move from there until I told them about her,” said the shaken teen.
Since the accident the funfair area at Global Village has been closed and police have arrested three people in connection with the incident.
Saeed Ali Bin Redha, Global Village CEO, said: “On behalf of Global Village I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family of the man who tragically passed away following the accident.
“The investigation is ongoing and Global Village management is working closely with the concerned authorities, providing full support.” The three arrested men were in charge of operating and maintaining the ride. They have initially been charged with wrongly causing death.
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