An evening meant for fun and relaxation turned into a nightmare on Sunday as a swing ride at the newly-opened Askari Amusement Park in Karachi fell apart, crushing at least 16 underneath it, police said.
Karachi Deputy Inspector General (DIG) East Zone Amir Farooqi told Dawn that bolts of the ride had come apart causing it to collapse.
One person, earlier reported buried under the debris, was later evacuated and rushed to the hospital for treatment.
A 16-year-old girl, who was taken to Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi was pronounced dead. The hospital's additional police surgeon, Dr Qarar Ahmed Abbasi told Dawn that the teenage girl, Kashaf Samad, had already expired when she was brought in. The victim was a resident of Sharafabad.
Dr Abbasi added that a 23-year-old male, Ibrahim Yasin was also brought for treatment to the hospital.
“We received seven persons brought for treatment to Liaquat National Hospital,” said the hospital's spokesperson, Anjum Rizvi. All have been moved to the emergency ward.
“At this moment, nothing can be said about the condition of the injured,” added Rizvi.
“Seven injured males, aged between 12 and 15 years were brought for treatment to JPMC [Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre],” said police surgeon, Dr Aijaz Khokhar.
Taking immediate notice of the incident, Inspector General (IG) Sindh Amjad Javed Saleemi ordered the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) East to provide emergency rescue services to all those affected at the park.
He also issued directives for the police to ensure cooperation of park officials so that details of the incident can be properly determined.
Caretaker chief minister Fazlur Rehman has ordered that all the injured be provided treatment at the finest hospitals in the city which will be paid for by the Sindh government.
Additionally, Sindh chief secretary retired Major Azam Suleman Khan also took notice of the incident, directing the city commissioner to visit the park and the hospitals where the wounded were being treated.
The chief secretary has ordered the closure of the park — along with all other amusement parks in the province — for three days so a technical inspection can be carried out.
He also established an inquiry team led by Deputy Commissioner East, which has been directed to submit its report within 24 hours regarding the incident.
Gulshan Superintendent Police (SP) Ghulam Murtaza Bhutto identified some of the injured persons as Saima, Hifza, Saira Shah, Babar, Suleman, Areeba and Mujeeb.
Located inside Old Sabzi Mandi, the park was inaugurated during Eidul Fitr amid much fanfare. It attracted huge crowds during the Eid holidays last month and on weekends.