x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Tributes paid to Briton who died in Dubai bridge fall

Friends leave messages of mourning after death of Elliot Lintott, while some call for safety upgrade at unfinished bridge where he fell.

More than a dozen bouquets and cards bearing messages to Elliot Lintott, 27, lay as a testament to the affection in which he was held.
More than a dozen bouquets and cards bearing messages to Elliot Lintott, 27, lay as a testament to the affection in which he was held.

DUBAI // Tributes to a British man who died after falling from a bridge in Dubai Marina on Friday night are being placed at the spot where he fell.

More than a dozen bouquets and cards bearing messages to Elliot Lintott, 27, lay as a testament to the affection in which he was held. Photographs of him were taped to a barrier on an unfinished bridge that should have served to protect him from the approximately 5-metre drop that killed him.

"Elliot - Can't believe we'll never see your happy, smiling face again," a woman who only identified herself as Claire wrote on one of the cards. "Such a waste of a young life. RIP, Love."

Another card signed by a woman identified as Jen stated "El, Cruelly taken from us. We are going to seriously miss your happy smiling face. The good times will not be the same without you. RIP, teapot."

Mr Lintott's death was an accident, according to Dubai Police and the public prosecutor's office. Friends said that he was last seen attending a concert at the Barasti Bar in Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina on Friday evening.

Yesterday at the bridge between the Grosvenor House and Habtoor Grand hotels, tourists walked past the memorial seemingly unaware of the tragedy that had occurred. Some said they had made the same mistake by walking up the bridge, which is not marked as being incomplete.

"Last week we took the wrong path as well, thinking that it led us back to the Habtoor Grand," said Tina Anderson, 68, a Briton who is visiting Dubai for a month.

"It did not look like the bridge didn't carry on. When we reached the top we turned around, but that was during the day."

A Russian tourist said the tragedy could have been prevented had the pathway leading up to the span been blocked off.

"There is nothing there to mark the danger," said Irina Ivanova Bogdan, 24. "I tried to go that way but then saw it was closed. The Government needs to block it so this doesn't happen to anyone else."

The Roads and Transport Authority, which oversees all roads and bridges in Dubai, is looking into the matter and will comment today, a spokeswoman said.

A representative of the Parsons Infrastructure and Technology Group, which built the bridge, said barriers placed at the site were meant to stop vehicles from going over the edge and should have been sufficient to warn pedestrians.

"I don't understand how a person could fall off, especially with them in place," said the representative, who asked not to be named.

At the Abu Dhabi Media (ADM) office in Dubai, where Mr Lintott worked in digital sales, the office receptionist remembered him as always being upbeat. ADM owns and publishes The National.

"Elliott was a lovely character, always laughing, always had a positive attitude," said Johny Giacaman, the commercial director of ADMC's Digital Media Group. "He often came into my office just to say hello. It was a shock to all of us and hard to digest. He was very creative and I trusted his judgement. He delivered great work."

His direct supervisor, Richard O'Sullivan, said Mr Lintott's approach to his job was unique. "Elliot worked in this market for three and a half years," Mr Richard O'Sullivan said. "There is a lot of shock from a number of media agencies that he dealt with. It's surreal. Everyone here is shocked.

"Elliot did things differently. He made people raise their heads. It still doesn't seem real."

ealghalib@thenational.ae