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Dubai court finds deadly Global Village theme park attraction had been neglected

July 30, 2014

The death of a man at Global Village in Dubai has been blamed on poor maintenance of a fairground ride.

Abdullah Mohammed Rashid Al Habsi, a 37-year-old Emirati, died after he was struck by a panel that fell off a Ferris wheel while he was visiting the attraction last year.

Four men arrested following the incident have now been convicted of wrongfully causing Al Habsi's death after a court heard the bolt that held the panel was corroded. A report presented to Dubai Misdemeanours Court by an inspector from Dubai Municipality revealed the bolt broke and both it and the 4.5m-long board it was holding in place fell, striking Al Habsi on the head. The debris also struck three other men stood next to him.

The inspector said: "There was some rust on the bolt and this is the reason behind the accident as it was holding the board, which contained lights 30m up."

The accident happened on January 24, 2013.

Dubai Police arrested the four men and referred them to Dubai Public Prosecution. The defendants a 24-year-old Egyptian ride operator, a 57-year-old British manager, a 47-year-old businessman from Belize and a 54-year-old British consultant were charged with wrongfully causing the death of Al Habsi and injuring the other men.

Prosecutors said the defendants were negligent as they had not followed safety procedures.

"Their negligence in not carrying out the necessary maintenance caused the accident," a statement from Dubai Public Prosecution said. "They didn't follow the safety instructions of the manufacturer. There was also a mistake in how they put the board together, which also led to the bolt disconnecting from the 40kg board and falling on the public."

The court fined the men Dhs10,000 each, but suspended their sentence. The men were also all ordered to pay Dhs200,000 blood money to the deceased's family. Dubai Public Prosecution has appealed against the sentence and the case is now going through the appeal court.

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Source: Seven Days (United Arab Emirates)

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