Ateeq Rafiq, 24, died after the freak accident involving an electronic chair at Star City in Birmingham in March 2018. The story became news this week after Vue Entertainment was fined for their responsibility in the accident.
On March 9, 2018, Rafiq was crushed when he tried to search for his keys and wallet that he believed fell out of his pocket while watching a movie. As he poked his head under the seat, the footrest came down on his neck. His wife tried to pull the footrest up but was unable to do so.
Staff was alerted and spent 15 minutes trying to free Rafiq. Paramedics rushed Rafiq to Heartlands Hospital where he died seven days later. A security guard described the accident:
“I was outside the cinema when I heard shouting on the radio. I ran into the screen and found staff members desperately trying to free a man who was stuck on the floor. His head was trapped underneath one of the footrests and there was a real tussle going on. He was panicking when I first got there but after a few minutes he just lost consciousness and went still. His poor wife was screaming his name as we tried to pull him back out. It was really horrible to witness.”
The security guard confirmed that Rafiq remained trapped for several minutes.
“I carried on with the rest of my shift afterwards, but I was really shaken. I can’t believe he died. It’s a terrible way to go.”
In-Article Image CreditsRed movie theater chairs via Wikimedia Commons with usage type - Creative Commons License. January 4, 2013
Featured Image CreditRed movie theater chairs via Wikimedia Commons with usage type - Creative Commons License. January 4, 2013