Mumbai: Ride on 'ill-kept' swing lands girl in hospital with a crushed thumb

May 12, 2018, 19:00 IST | Suyash Karangutkar and Bipin Kokate

Nine-year-old undergoes surgery after crash crushes her thumb, injures finger

Shivani Salunke with mother Sangeeta at Bhatia Hospital in Grant Road
Shivani Salunke with mother Sangeeta at Bhatia Hospital in Grant Road

The safety of civic gardens has once again come under the scanner, after a nine-year-old girl sustained injuries while playing on a swing at Kamala Nehru Park in Malabar Hill. Her left thumb was crushed and middle finger injured after the swing broke and crashed on Thursday evening.

The incident happened in the Park's section for the handicapped, which the family had entered mistakenly. The girl, Shivani Salunke, was taken to St Elizabeth Hospital, from where she was moved to Bhatia Hospital at Grant Road late on Thursday. Her family said her left hand was operated on on Friday morning. When mid-day visited her last afternoon, she was alert and responding but frightened after the incident.

The swing in Kamala Nehru Park's handicapped section that broke on Thursday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
The swing in Kamala Nehru Park's handicapped section that broke on Thursday. Pic/Bipin Kokate

Playtime tragedy
The Std V student at St Colombo School had first visited Kamala Nehru Park when she was two and was excited to go there again after seven long years.

"We decided to take her there again to see the Shoe and other features," said her distraught mother Sangeeta, 46. "It should not have happened; we mistakenly entered the handicapped section. It is our bad luck, what more can I say?"

Shivani's father Suresh, 48, said, "I went to look after my relative's child, when I heard my daughter scream. There was blood everywhere; it was frightening." "We have been thanking God nothing major happened. Authorities must take action immediately and maintain the rides," added Sangeeta.

"The thumb was crushed, the nail gone. There is a lot of soft tissue trauma, but the thumb will recover. We have stabilised the fracture. She is recovering well but will need repeated assessment," said a doctor.

When mid-day visited the Park yesterday, we found parents complaining about the condition of several rides there. Lower Parel resident Sudhir Talekar, 30, who was there with his daughter and niece, said, "Welding of the see-saw is missing."

Shirking responsibility?
"The garden is maintained, but not the rides. This stony surface under the slide could hurt children," said Theresa Rebello, 36, a mother of two. Local corporator Jyotsna Mehta said, "That section is for handicapped kids. Parents need to cooperate with the security and follow instructions. Our guards say they had told them, but nobody listened. We will put up wired fencing on the backside right away."

Regarding the anomalies with the slide and the see-saw, Mehta added, "We will fix the issues." When contacted, Superintendent of Gardens, BMC, Jitendra Pardeshi said, "Kamala Nehru Park doesn't come under my department. It comes under the Hydraulic Engineering (HE) department." "We have not received any complaint regarding this. But we have taken all precautionary measures in the garden," said Ashok Tawadia of the HE department.

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