CHENNAI: A trial run on a joy ride named Disco Dancer at an amusement park in the southern suburbs left a teenager dead, a man from Bengal critically injured and over 20 others injured on Wednesday night. The ride was being tested after being shut since the floods last December. Around 8 pm, eyewitnesses told Express, the ride took a trial run with about 25 workers — some allegedly reluctant. It swung thrice and then broke into three pieces, throwing the people away. S Manikandan (19) from a neighbouring village was fatally injured and died at a private hospital, while Sahaudin (32) is said to be critical.
One person was killed, another person was critically injured and over 20 others sustained minor injuries when the staff of the Kishkinta Theme Park were made to sit for a trial run on a joy ride known as Disco Dancer, a kind of a revolving merry-go-round, around 8 pm on Wednesday.
Angry relatives of the injured, most of whom hail from villages in and around the theme park, accused that the theme park officials forced the staff to sit in trial runs.
“We have refused to sit many times. But they would compel us to sit, promising everything was safe,” said Charles, a cousin of two of the injured being treated at Deepam Hospitals in Tambaram.
The relatives of Charles — Logesh and Kesavan — were class XII students and were working in the theme park after completion of their board exams.
From the accounts of other staff, those who were asked to board the trial joy ride were about to leave for home when the officials asked them to sit on a trial run of Disco Dancer.
Eyewitness accounts claim the ride broke into three pieces and collapsed. One of the staff, S Manikandan (19), who is from the nearby Nallur village, was severely injured and died at a private hospital.
Another staff, identified as Sahaudin, 32, a native of West Bengal, is said to be critical and undergoing treatment in the ICU ward.
“Nearly 25 people were engaged in the trial run when the joy ride collapsed,” said a police officer who visited the spot.
Police sources said the joy ride was under repair after the December floods and was in the process of being restored when the accident took place.
When contacted, a person who picked up the call in the theme park acknowledged the accident. “But all those injured are our staff, not visitors,” he said during the brief conversation.
“We know it is risky and would hesitate to sit. But they often compel us. And since it is a matter of livelihood, most from the villagers who go there for work end up sitting for the trial run most of the evenings,” said Charles.
The relatives picked up strong arguments with the police, questioning why the officials of the theme park were not arrested after the incident.
Senior police officers could not be immediately reached for comment.
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