x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Global Village death sparks tougher theme park safety rules

After an Emirati is killed at Dubai's Global Village, the municipality is drawing up fresh rules to prevent rides operating without passing strict inspection.

People walk near the Ferris wheel at Dubai’s Global Village where an Emirati man died last month. Jaime Puebla / The National
People walk near the Ferris wheel at Dubai’s Global Village where an Emirati man died last month. Jaime Puebla / The National

After tragedy struck at Dubai's Global Village funfair, when Abdullah Mohammed Al Habsi was hit and killed by a falling piece of a Ferris wheel, municipality officials in the emirate are drawing up rules to ensure it never happens again.

Last month, Faleh Hasan Al Habsi, 30, was walking with his 37-year-old cousin, Abdullah, near the attraction when a lighting panel fell from the attraction. Abdullah pushed his cousin out of the path of the debris, and was struck and killed.

The owner, operator and engineer responsible for the ride, were arrested by police.

Now Dubai Municipality officials said they will soon issue a memorandum to owners and operators of amusement parks, whether indoor or outdoor, permanent or temporary, urging them to go through the proper inspection procedures.

That includes ride operators obtaining clearance certificates only from inspection authorities that are approved by the conformity assessment department at the municipality.

The director of the department, Ameena Ahmed Mohammed, said the department is working on a project to determine the approved global standards for private sector companies that specialise in inspection over various types of amusement rides.

These companies would be required to apply for inspection certificates at the certification department.

Ms Mohammed confirmed that once the project is complete, the Municipality will prohibit the operation of any ride in an amusement park in Dubai without prior certification and approval from the certified control authorities.

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