Horror in Mahabaleshwar: 12-year-old's scalp ripped apart in carting accident

Updated: May 31, 2019, 08:33 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav and Shadab Khan |

Cart's axle snags girl's long tresses after negligent staff instruct her to leave her hair open under the helmet. The incident happened in Mahabaleshwar

Kanan Bhat also suffered a fracture in her left shoulder. Pic/Shadab Khan
Kanan Bhat also suffered a fracture in her left shoulder. Pic/Shadab Khan

The Bhat family's summer trip to Mahabaleshwar ended in a hair-raising mishap. Their daughter Kanan, 12, met with a horrific accident while enjoying a go-carting ride, where she lost over half of the skin on her scalp when her hair got entangled in the motor of the vehicle she was in. While the family has alleged that the incident occurred due to the negligence of the go kart operator, the owner of the establishment has flatly denied any responsibility for the mishap.

Speaking to mid-day, Kanan's father Nilesh Bhat said, "As the summer vacations are going on, our family had gone to Mahabaleshwar. My daughter wanted to take a ride at a go-carting facility there. Before she went for the ride, I asked her to tie up her long hair and then wear the helmet. But, the unprofessional staff at the facility asked my daughter to let her hair down and wear the helmet." The ride started around 4-4.30 pm on Monday. The Bhat family said nothing happened in the first two laps, but in the third one, Kanan's hair got entangled in the motor, leaving everyone shocked.

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Kanan at the beginning of her treatment
Kanan at the beginning of her treatment

Facility's negligence

"During the third round, my daughter's hair got entangled in the motor of the vehicle, located behind her seat, tearing apart her scalp along with the helmet. There was blood everywhere. This accident has happened because of the negligence on the part of the company and staff looking after the go-carting facility," said Nilesh.

"What also shocked me was their behaviour after the accident. My daughter was crying because her hair was stuck in the motor and I asked them to get something to cut her hair so she can be rushed to the hospital. But they were of no help. I cut the hair somehow and took her to the local hospital. I asked the people at the go-carting facility to show me their licence and permissions, but one of them said they don't have permissions," alleged Nilesh.

Kanan's hair that had got entangled in the axle of the go-cart
Kanan's hair that had got entangled in the axle of the go-cart

Kanan — who has also suffered a fracture in her left shoulder — was given first aid at the local hospital after which her family arranged for an ambulance to take her to the Sanjeevani hospital in Malad on the wee hours of Tuesday. She has been admitted in the ICU and kept under observation.

Two plaints, no FIR

Nilesh said they have filed a complaint against the Fun N Fly go-carting facility at the Wai police station and Malad police station, but an FIR has not been registered against the owner yet. "My daughter is under observation and it has been more than two days now but no FIR has been lodged against the owner of the go-carting facility despite negligence on their part. Post the accident, they had promised to bear the expenses of her treatment. But they have not been responding to my calls for the last two days.

Kanan is currently undergoing treatment at Sanjeevani hospital. Pic/Shadab Khan
Kanan is currently undergoing treatment at Sanjeevani hospital. Pic/Shadab Khan

What happened to my child should not happen to anyone else. This is why I want the authorities concerned to take action against the go-carting facility for negligence," said Nilesh. Kanan is studying at the Children's Academy in Malad. According to her family, they have spent over R60,000 for treatment so far, an amount that will only increase as doctors have to conduct plastic surgery on her.

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Owner denies allegations

Refuting Nilesh's allegations, Ankush Dalvi, owner of the Fun N Fly said, "It is wrong of the Bhat family to say that the accident happened because of our negligence. We have been in this profession since a long time and have all the necessary permissions for the facility. The girl had tied her hair and was made to wear a helmet. She had long hair and during the third lap, a bunch of it slipped out and got entangled in the motor. How can they blame us for it? We have CCTV footage of the entire episode." Dalvi also claimed he has paid close to Rs 1 lakh towards Kanan's treatment and will bear the charges for her treatment and hospitalisation. "Immediately after the accident, I rushed the girl and her family to a hospital located 20 km away. I paid for the treatment there and even gave Rs 20,000 for the ambulance to bring her to Mumbai. I have also transferred Rs 40,000 to the family for the ongoing treatment and I'm ready to bear the cost of her treatment," he added.

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