He Was Looking for His Keys When the Footrest Came Down-Fatally

View Cinema Birmingham

View Cinema Birmingham

Ateeq Rafiq, 24, died in March a year ago after his neck became wedged under a leg-rest for up to 15 minutes after he kneeled down to search for his keys and phone in a Vue cinema.

According to the report, cinema staff and Rafiq's wife, Ayesha Sardar, spent 15 minutes trying to free him.

Area coroner Emma Brown told the Birmingham inquest jury that it was a reclining seat which had a footrest which pulled up.

Desperate attempts were made to release Ateeq Rafiq, 24, but he suffered "catastrophic" injuries in the freak accident at the Star City venue.

"He shouted in pain and I told him to get out from under there", she said.

'I was the last one to ever see you with your eyes open, the last one to hear your voice and the last one to see you smile and I'm so grateful to Allah SWT every day for giving me that chance as your wife.

"I tried to pull the footrest off but couldn't".

An inquest heard Mr Rafiq and his wife paid extra for the luxury Gold Class seats at the cinema in Star City, Birmingham, on March 9 a year ago. His wife tried to hold the footrest up but couldn't; her fingers also became caught for a time, per Sky News.

"He thought they must have slid down the chair".

In a statement, Ayesha Sardar described her husband as a 'loving father, son, husband and friend.

"He was always keeping himself active and had a brilliant sense of humour".

"There is not a day goes by that we don't miss him and think of him". He is now a attractive memory for his three year old daughter'.

Charles Simmons-Jacobs told the hearing in Birmingham that the seats were fitted with a pressure pad, meaning the controls only worked when a customer was seated.

After a customer vacated one of the seats, the control box waited for four seconds before returning the headrest and footrest to vertical positions, the inquest heard.

Mr Rafiq's seat had blown a fuse in its control box, he said, adding that the force that came down on him would have been equivalent to three-quarters of a tonne.

At the end of the film he realised he could not find either his keys or his phone and suspected they may have slipped down the side of the seat.

She said at one moment his whole torso was beneath it with only his legs visible.

A cinema worker who tried to help a man trapped under a seat, "froze" and "didn't know what to do", an inquest has heard.

"The footrest started to come down trapping his neck".

When she returned, she found that he was not breathing, and had started to turn blue.

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