Vue cinema admits health and safety breaches after young father is crushed to death by reclining cinema seat

Abbianca Makoni
·2-min read
<p>A Vue Entertainment cinema</p> (Google StreetView)

A Vue Entertainment cinema

(Google StreetView)

Vue Cinemas has admitted to health and safety breaches after a father suffered a fatal brain injury when he was crushed by a reclining chair.

Despite desperate attempts from his wife and staff members, Ateeq Rafiq still suffered “catastrophic” injuries in the accident at the Star City venue, Birmingham in March 2018.

The company pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown court on Tuesday for two charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act, reported the Birmingham Mail.

This included failing to ensure that persons were not exposed to risk to their health and safety and failing to make a suitable and safe risk assessment in relation to the use of powered cinema seating.

But sentencing has been adjourned until July 20.

Mr Rafiq, 24, had visited the cinema at 4,30pm with his wife on March 9 2018 but at the end of the movie he realised he could not find both his keys and phone.

The Aston based father of one thought they may have slipped down the side of the reclining seat, which had a footrest that pulled up, and went searching for it.

But as he went under the seat, the footrest immediately came down on him.

His wife, Ayesha Sardar, desperately tried to hold the footrest up but after struggling to manage she quickly alerted staff, an inquest previously heard.

They tried for 15 minutes to free Mr Rafiq from the seat, but the buttons which operated the footrest were not working.

Paramedics arrived around 7pm and he was rushed to Heartlands Hospital, where he died on March 16 after suffering a hypoxic brain injury.

The week-long inquest was told that the seat was missing a bar that would have allowed him to be released by hand, the Birmingham Mail reported.

A Vue spokesperson said: “We are shocked and saddened by this tragic accident and our sincerest thoughts and condolences go to Mr Rafiq’s family and friends. We have been listening carefully to all of the evidence and information and will now reflect on the findings of the inquest.”

Read More

UK and EU regulators to hold press briefing on AstraZeneca vaccine

Apple pushes for more data transparency as it prepares new privacy tool

GCSEs and A-levels should be replaced with ‘more flexible’ assessments – union

Regular rapid testing is a vital weapon in the fight against Covid-19