UAE | Emergencies

Pall of gloom descends on Global Village

Fun fair area closed until further notice as DM reviews safety standards

  • By Bassma Al Jandaly and Shafaat 
  • Published: 20:35 January 25, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Gulf News
  • The death of a visitor who was hit by a piece of metal dislodged from the giant ferris wheel at the Global Village cast a pall of gloom over the fair grounds amid an unprecedented rush on Thursday, with visitor numbers crossing 150,000.

Dubai: An eerie silence hovered over Global Village early on Friday morning as authorities closed down operations of all the amusement rides, following an accident that killed a visitor on Thursday.

However, thousands of visitors flocked to Global Village on Friday but the police cordoned off the fun fair area where the accident took place, as investigations are currently underway.

The Global Village management also announced cancellation of all scheduled entertainments shows for the day as it paid condolences to the family of the deceased.

Dubai Police, meanwhile, arrested three men in connection with death of the Emirati man in the global village on Thursday, Dubai police officials said on Friday.

Police said the three suspected men were working for the company who is in charge of maintenance of the games area, operating and managing the rides for public.

Police said the three men are facing the charges of of causing the death of the man by mistake.

The Police official said the case was transferred to public prosecution for investigation.

“The body of the victim just handed to his family for burial,” police said yesterday.

Police confirmed that a metal rod fell down on the head of the victim killing him instantly.

According to an official at the Global Village, the accident took place around 10:30 pm on Thursday when a metal bar from the giant Ferris Wheel, the Freij World Wheel, fell on an Emirati man’s head, killing him instantly.

The Global Village had seen an unprecedented rush on Thursday with around 150,000 people visiting the shopping and entertainment destination.

According to a source, the deceased’s children were riding on the Ferris Wheel and the victim was waiting for them near by when the tragedy struck.

The police arrived on the scene immediately and safely evacuated the area. However, it was not clear if there were any other injuries caused by the accident.

“Whatever happened is really unfortunate and scary. It freaks me out, it could have happened to anybody, I have used the ride before, I think I will have a second thought before I take the ride again,” said a visitor, who wished not to be named.

Dubai Municipality officials were also on the scene, inspecting the safety standards of the amusement rides, which were apparently certified as safe by a globally acclaimed German safety-certifying agency.

According to Global Village management the amusement rides complies with three major EU safety regulations including the Fairground and Amusement Park Machinery and Structures Safety, Operation of Electrical Installations and European Inspection Agency Guidelines for the Approval and Safety Inspection of Amusement Rides.

This is the second case of death in Global Village in the last three years.

According to media reports in March 2010, one person had died and 13 people were hurt when an entrance to the Indian pavilion collapsed.

In early 2005, a small fire had broken out on a dhow at Global Village, however, no injuries were reported from the incident.

A similar incident happened in Sharjah last month when a three year old Emirati boy was hit by a component of a ride at the Water Festival in Al Majaz Water front. The boy is still in a critical state.

“This is simply not acceptable. Authorities need to be more stringent about safety on amusement rides otherwise more lives will be in danger,” said another visitor, Salman Waleed.

Comments (9)

  1. Added 16:21 January 26, 2013

    I was there on the night itself and was near the area where the incident happened, my entire family tried to contact emergency services, ambulance and police but we could not reach any number due to congestion probably due to overcrowding of the area. it was potentially dangerous with the public numbers itself in the area secondly telecom providers in the area should ensure congestion free network, people would require to use services in times like these

    Shakir, Islamabad, Pakistan

  2. Added 16:18 January 26, 2013

    This is simply not acceptable. i'll just ride the bump car instead

    singh, abu dhabi, India

  3. Added 15:56 January 26, 2013

    May his soul rest in peace amen.

    Cynthia, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 15:55 January 26, 2013

    we were there just last jan.23, and that wheel caught my eyes and I got really excited. I am glad that nothing bad happened to us.

    Bevelyn Loprez, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 15:29 January 26, 2013

    Accident not just happened, it happen with a cause. Safety precautions should always be administered for safety of the public.

    Ronald, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 12:28 January 26, 2013

    Really its shattering news indeed! We were too at the Global Village but didnt come to know about the same. Normally I will look into to go to play area whenever I visit Global Village. But on Thursday my family wanted to visit various country's outlets, so I didnt visit the games section. But really a very sad incident. May his soul rest in peace & Almighty give the family strength in life.

    Santosh, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 11:47 January 26, 2013

    we are really sorry for the family of the deceased and our condolonces to them. we live in ajman and see a lot of people throwing bottles and metal pieces out of the windows. i had to change my car windshield twice. i always warned what would happen if they landed on someone's head. hope the management takes more responsibility and penalises the culprits who are negligent.

    razeen hasan, ajman, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 10:52 January 26, 2013

    I witnessed it, i was buying tea near the Ferris wheel and near me the local guy was standing with his small daughter, suddenly people started to run when noises started to come from the Ferris wheel, but he was having much of his shopping bags and kid-trolley with him, so he could not escape. His daughter came to me crying and shocked after seeing him hit by the metal thing. And within minutes authorities came and took his daughter. They did a good job by evacuating us and the tea stall workers from the scene. But i cant forget what i saw when that tragic accident happened. Let God grant him paradise.

    Glitz, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 10:42 January 26, 2013

    Oh my God. It's extremely unfortunate. We were at Global Village on Thursday night. It took us about 1-1/2 hours on the Emirates Road to reach the Gate of Global Village that evening. We were all along looking at the Giant Wheel and were keen that we should also take a ride on it that day. But later on we did not make the move that night as were busy shopping. When my husband said it is scary to take a ride, I assured him that all safety standards the authoritties must have taken to ride such a large wheel, so it should not be a problem. But alas, it was totally wrong. May the departed soul rest in peace and condolences for the bereaving family.

    shanti, dubai, United Arab Emirates

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