Dec 08, 2023
Dec 08, 2023
by Deepa Ravi
I write this after spending an agonizing, sleepless night when my entire right arm felt like it was on fire. My swollen feet hurt and the little scratches on various parts of my body stung. All I did was to make a trip to MGM Dizzee World, Chennai, with the intention of providing a grand time for the children.
Hereï¿½s what happened. First we sit inside their ï¿½New Giant Wheelï¿½ and the guy casually tells us to lock up and instantly starts off the Giant Wheel. A little startled at the command (I mean shouldnï¿½t he be locking us securely in before starting off?) - I leaned forward in the moving giant wheel (trust me that is scary) and locked us all in. This adventure over we moved to ï¿½Break Danceï¿½. As we walked towards it, a whole horde of about 50 kids ran all over the ride and booked spaces for their friends etc. (How could they even allow such a free-for-all?). In my past experience at amusement parks ï¿½ a person always seats people ï¿½ according to weight balance. There was no one around to guide them and ensure that they are securely locked inside.
Anyways I seated my niece, nephew and daughter into it and was just locking them in when the bell for starting of the ride sounded. Totally startled ï¿½ as to how anyone could start the ride when Iï¿½m so prominently standing in the way ï¿½ I quickly dodged the cabins and reached the corner. Much to my horror the ride started full speed and the ground that I was standing on began rotating. In the meantime I was yelling for the operator to stop at the top of my voice. My family and other onlookers too were helplessly shouting for the guy to stop. I lost my balance and decided lying down would be the best option. The next few seconds were hazy but I know that I as I fell down flat I missed getting my head smashed by one of the cabins ï¿½ by just a whisker. I was dragged along by the rotating surface and mercifully pushed to a corner where I could hold on to the side railings and slid out. Only then was the ride stopped.
My entire body was bruised. The skin had completely come off a portion of the right hand. But what totally amazed me was the callous attitude of the ride operator. Instead of checking on me or apologizing ï¿½ he turned around and screamed at me ï¿½ saying all this was my fault. This attitude was appalling. Angry and distraught we rushed to the management and told them the incident. They offered first aid. You would expect such a big resort to at least have a proper first aid room, a qualified paramedic ï¿½ if not a doctor. But nothing of the sort. They took me to a shabby room and brought watery-looking fluid that looked more like a floor cleaner and a nervous looking man to clean my wound. I saved the man the ordeal by allowing cursory clean up ï¿½ after which they liberally sprayed an antiseptic powder on it. Disgusted, we demanded refund of our entire fee ï¿½ since this was just the second ride that we had sat on. The management refused. Instead they said that they would send us an escort who will safely take us in all the rides. We were shocked that they could even suggest this! Finally they summoned the ride operator (who incidentally was claiming that I was perhaps standing there and taking pictures!) Thatï¿½s as far from truth as can be. But even that being so isnï¿½t it his duty to do a round of the ride ï¿½ see if all were seated safely, check that no one was standing around and then start the ride?
Anyway the ride operator came looking extremely guilty, his early haughty demeanor had all but vanished. He knew that he had made a bad mistake. The management made a pretence of questioning him in front of us. But it was clear that all they were concerned about was the money. The neglect of safety rules did not seem to bother them at all. Finally ï¿½ after we threatened more serious action ï¿½ they decide to cut the ticket amount from the ride operatorsï¿½ pay and give it to us. It was a happy ending for the MGM Dizzee World team ï¿½ as they did not lose any money.
We are not going to visit MGM Dizzee World again. Never. But, if you visit today I can assure you the same lax attitude will prevail. I will be gratified ï¿½ if I can use my suffering as an example and help enhance their customer safely levels. Is there no authority that can check on these lax security measures? Shouldnï¿½t there always be a full-fledged medical emergency service at such places? Today Iï¿½m in pain ï¿½ yet happy to be alive. My aim is to prevent any more such accidents in the future. Will the concerned authorities please raise their voice and do the needful?
(This incident took place on Saturday, 14th October 2006)
More by : Deepa Ravi