On Wednesday evening, a joyride in Kishkinta Amusement Park near Chennai collapsed, killing one and injuring nine others. The joyride, Disco Dancer, was being tested and 25 workers of the amusement park were on board for the trial run.
The park’s proprietor Jose Kunus and Manager Sakthivel have since been arrested for negligence.
The Disco Dancer joyride was being tested after the December rain-floods in Chennai in order for it to be opened to the general public.
In a video released by the website NewsMinute, workers are seen mounted on the different compartments on the joyride. It seems to start normally but after two rounds, the ride suddenly comes crashing to the ground, crushing the riders, all workers of the amusement park.
Reportedly, a mechanical glitch caused increased oscillations that couldn’t be controlled, causing the 50-foot-high ride to crash.
A website also reported that the workers complained of hearing a ‘weird noise’ from the machine and screamed for the operators to stop the ride. However, no heed was paid. The noise is audible in the clip too.
The victims were taken to a nearby hospital where 25-year-old S. Mani was declared brought dead. Nine others are being treated for injuries.
The NewsMinute reported that relatives of the victims alleged that the workers of the amusement park were ‘forced’ to sit for the trial run.
Lokesh, a 28-year-old worker at the park, narrated his story saying they were forced to sit for the trial run. “We said we won’t join, but we were forced to and after two rounds there was some weird noise. Many of us screamed and wanted to get off but the organisers went ahead with it,” he said.
The allegations against the owners of the theme park give a sneak peek into the stark reality of how cheap the lives of labourers are in India.
That they were being forced to sit for the trial run might be indicative of the callousness on part of the owners in that they possibly knew about the risks but chose to go ahead with it.
The park’s website, however, claims to follow the Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Industries guidelines.
Kishkinta was founded by Navodaya Appachan of Kerala’s popular Navodaya Studios and is spread across 120 acres of land with wave pools, water rides, roller coasters and toy trains.