ISLAMABAD: At least one child was killed and four others injured after an inflatable structure broke down at the Lake View Park just before a storm hit Islamabad on Friday night. The injured, Mohammad Absar, Amina, eight, Ayesha, 10, and two brothers Arzik, nine, and Haris, 12, were shifted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) where Absar was pronounced dead.
Later, police arrested the contractor of the inflatable structure, manager of the Lake View Park and the director parks of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and registered a case against them for criminal negligence. According to CDA officials, the air-filled inflatable structure was full of children when the storm struck.
“The structure did not collapse. It overturned because of the pressure of strong winds,” said an official.
“The boy, who lost his life in the accident, was thrown up with such force that his body struck a nearby tree,” the official added.
CDA has suspended the manager of Lake View Park. “He was suspended for alleged negligence. We will also determine his responsibility in the incident,” Chairman CDA Imtiaz Inayat Elahi said.
“The Director, Parks, Muhammad Asif, was not directly responsible for the incident,” he added. “I don’t know why he was booked by the police.”
However, police officials said that the director was arrested on the instructions of the CDA chairman. Meanwhile, the contractor, Muhammad Arshad, and the manager of the park, Idrees, were earlier arrested.
They were produced before the court on Saturday, which gave them into police remand for two days.
Police booked the officials under the sections 322/31/109 on charges of negligence.
However, the CDA chairman said that the playing facilities for children in the park were not suspended.
“It was an accident. None of the structures broke down or were damaged. People need not worry and are encouraged to use the park,” the Chairman said.
He said an internal enquiry by the authority was also underway to determine the responsibility for the incident. He further said the arrangements had been made for the continuity of the services at Lake View Park.
Published in the Express Tribune, June 13th, 2010.