Ras Al Khaimah: Abdullah Mohammad Al Habsi, the 37-year-old father of seven who died on Thursday after being struck by a metal rod that fell from a ferris wheel at Global Village, was remembered fondly by friends and family at a special condolence ceremony held on Friday night.
An Emirati member of the UAE Armed Forces, Al Habsi was described as a hero by all who knew him as news spread of his selfless act in pulling a cousin out of harm’s way despite the mortal risk.
By saving his cousin Faleh Ali’s life from the falling debris, Al Habsi sacrificed his own.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah, offered condolences on Saturday night to the family of Al Habsi.
Faleh Ali said there was no doubt that he was alive because Al Habsi always put others first.
Everything happened in the blink of an eye, Ali recounted in an interview with Gulf News on Saturday after Al Habsi was laid to rest in Ras Al Khaimah. “I have no clue what happened, I just remember a huge metal bar longer than two metres fell from above,” Ali said.
Ali said that after their family finished shopping, they were planning to visit the Iranian pavilion but “Abdullah said that he want to go to Freij ride [Freij World Wheel].”
Ali said he was waiting near the ferris wheel when he was forcefully pulled away and, in a matter of seconds, he saw his cousin lying on the ground motionless.
“I felt someone was pulling me back strongly and it was Abdullah who pulled me away from the huge bar which was separating from the Freij ride and falling,” Ali said.
Ali said he immediately went to Al Habsi’s side and held his hand. “Abdullah was praying before he died,” said Ali, who recalls holding his cousin’s hand after he passed away.
People were screaming and running all around.
Al Habsi was remembered as someone who was always helpful, generous, respectful and polite to everyone he met.
He was a resident of Al Rams area in Ras Al Khaimah.
Brigadier Khalil Al Mansouri, head of the Criminal Investigation Department at Dubai police, said that the investigation into the tragedy was continuing and that the fun fair area around the 60-metre-tall ferris wheel remained cordoned off.
Three workers of a company tasked with maintaining the fun rides at Global Village are in custody pending action from the prosecutor’s office.
“The owner, the operator and the in-charge of maintenance are referred to public prosecution on charges of mistakenly causing the death of Al Habsi,” he said.
Major General Khamis Al Mazeina, acting Dubai Police Chief, said that the three maintenance workers are being questioned in connection with the accident.
Major General Al Mazeina confirmed that a metal rod had fallen from the ferris wheel, killing Al Habsi and injuring an Arab woman and two Asian bystanders in the crowd below.
He said the metal rod was not part of the mechanics of the ferris wheel, rather the item was part of the decorative elements of the amusement ride.
Relatives of Al Habsi told Gulf News that he leaves behind three sons and four daughters, the youngest of whom is only one.