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Monday Jul 16 2018

Karachi's Askari Park swing accident caused by broken bolts: report


KARACHI: A swing at the Askari Amusement Park in the metropolis's Sabzi Mandi area collapsed on Sunday night after its bolts broke, an initial investigation report of the incident stated on Monday.

A 16-seater ride named 'Monster' had fallen apart late last night at Askari Park in the Old Sabzi Mandi area, killing 14-year-old Kashaf and wounding numerous others.

The teenager’s father has announced to pursue legal action against the park’s administration.

According to Geo News, the initial report stated the swing fell apart after its ball bearings slipped as a result of the broken bolts. 

The new ride was opened for a trial on Sunday but was closed right after the accident. Police later shut down the recently-opened park to the public.

Who owns the park?

Following the accident, questions were raised about the ownership of the park. The Karachi Municipal Commissioner East district denied owning the amusement park, although the name of one of the owners of the Askari park has been discovered.

Famous industrialist Zubair Tufail owns shares in the amusement park.

Speaking to Geo News, Tufail said that the swing was brought from China and Chinese engineers, who had installed the swing, have been immediately summoned.

Tufail said that according to the engineers here, chances of 20 bolts giving away at the same time are quite bleak. 

Geo News also found out the office of the Askari park’s administration situated in PECHS. Turned out that the owners had left the house to servants. 

Meanwhile, it emerged that the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation has also denied owning the land.

According to KMC land sources, the Askari park was bought from the KMC in 2004 — the same year Old Sabzimandi was shifted there from the Super Highway.

Earlier, the KMC owned the land of the park.

'Investigation being done through two aspects'

While talking to the media today, Commissioner Karachi Saleh Farooqui said that two aspects to the investigation were being pursued. 

"If a criminal element was present, it would be presented during the investigation. The investigation would be conducted in a clear-cut manner," he said. 

He said that the inquiry of the incident will be completed within three days and the owners of the park will be investigated too.

The commissioner further added that all possible aid was being given to the wounded. Earlier today, 15 of the citizens wounded in the incident were sent home after receiving medical treatment.

However, one of the wounded — identified as Kifayat — is currently at the Jinnah Hospital while another citizen is under treatment at Civil Hospital's trauma centre.

The commissioner also announced that an investigation was being launched in all amusements parks in Karachi. He added that no one has been arrested in connection with the incident so far. 

Parks closed Sindh-wide until inspection

Farooqui had announced last night that the park would remain closed until a full technical check-up would be completed. 

He further explained that legal action would be initiated against the park administration accordingly. The commissioner had further stated that he would look into how and from whom had the park obtained a no-objection certificate (NOC).

On the other hand, Sindh Chief Secretary Major (retd) Azam Suleman Khan formed a committee. A report will be submitted for the incident within the next 24 hours by the committee — to be led by the deputy commissioner for Karachi's east district.

He also ordered the rides in all the parks throughout Sindh be closed until a thorough technical inspection was completed.