Eight-Year-Old Boy Died After Being Knocked Over Playing Laser Tag

November 24, 2016 | by | 0 Comments

swns_laser_death_11An eight-year-old schoolboy died from a liver injury after he was knocked over by a teenager who bumped into him while playing LASER TAG, an inquest heard.

Little Aryan Patel collided heavily with the 6ft teen as he enjoyed a family day out at a Megazone arena on April 7 this year.

He had been playing in the mixed age session – called ‘Ultimate Rapid Fire’ – when he was bashed to the floor by the larger boy carrying a laser gun.

An inquest jury heard the teenager fell on top of the slightly-built youngster who screamed in pain and was found by his dad writhing in agony on the floor.

Aryan – who was described as being very small for his age – was groaning and appeared to be having a fit as he was carried to the reception area and laid on a sofa.

Staff called an ambulance and paramedics rushed to the scene and treated him at the venue in Leicester city centre.

They took him to the Leicester Royal Infirmary but he died 35 minutes later after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Mega Zone, laser tag, Gower Street, Leicester, where an eight-year-old schoolboy died

Mega Zone, laser tag, Gower Street, Leicester, where an eight-year-old schoolboy died

The hearing at Leicester Town Hall was told that despite strenuous efforts by resuscitation teams they could not restart the youngster’s heart.

Giving evidence, paediatric accident and emergency consultant Dr Rachel Rowlands said: “Once a child goes into cardiac arrest it is very rare that you can get them back.

“Normally a cardiac arrest is the last thing to happen to a child when they are dying.”

Leicestershire Coroner Lydia Brown told the jury of seven men and four women that Aryan, who suffered from sickle cell anaemia, had been taken to Megazone with his brother after a successful routine appointment at the hospital earlier in the day.

The inquest heard Aryan was playing in the third game of the session at the arena, which was lit by UV light and disco lights and featured dry ice and loud music.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the hearing he was with a group celebrating a friend’s birthday at the time.

He said: “I came jogging down a ramp and we collided.

“He was so small I could not see him over the top of my laser gun.

“I fell on top of him and he started screaming.”swns_laser_death_07The youth said he got up as quickly as he could and people came to Aryan’s aid straight away.

But because it was dark, Aryan’s dad carried him to the reception while the ambulance was called.

Arena supervisor Laura Ackton told the court she called the ambulance and evacuated the arena floor.

She said all players had been given a safety briefing before the session which started at 5pm and was due to finish at 8pm.

General manager Kimberley Senkbeil-Newley said the mixed sessions were open to players aged six and above and who were more than 3ft 9in tall.

Giving evidence she said the sessions were popular with families and there were strict rules governing behaviour – including banning running and physical contact.

People who breached rules were warned and could be ejected if they did not modify behaviour.

She added that staff had only been obliged to call the emergency services once before during the centre’s 26 years in operation.swns_laser_death_14Pathologist Roger Malcomson said Aryan was very small for his age and he had suffered a severe liver injury in the collision which had caused major blood loss.

He told the hearing the injury and the loss of blood were the causes of death.

He said Aryan’s spleen was grossly enlarged because of his sickle cell anaemia but this did not contribute to his death.

Assistant Coroner for Leicester and South Leicestershire Lydia Brown told the jury the only conclusion they could return was one of accidental death.

She said: “I consider it’s only safe to find a single conclusion.

“The only one that is appropriate under law is accidental death and that’s the one I ask you to record.”

Mrs Brown said environmental heath officers had conducted an investigation following the tragedy but found no faults with Megazone’s operations.

She added: “They have not not and do not intend to take any formal action against Megazone.

“The consider that the environment was safe and the company running the operation were competent.

“There’s no legal duty to provide first aid for members of the public that enter.

“They came to the conclusion that staff were trained and there didn’t seem to be any difficulty with the emergency procedures.”

Leicester Royal Infirmary Hospital

Leicester Royal Infirmary Hospital

The coroner said Leicestershire Police didn’t find any suspicious circumstances when they investigated Aryan’s death.

Mrs Brown also summarised evidence from the 6ft tall teenager who fell on top of Aryan.

She added: “He knew the rules, he said he was walking around, jogging maybe, he could see but the smoke was on, there was different lighting on.

“He was going down the ramp, he was jogging, he had his gun up and he wasn’t looking down.

“Then he collided, he fell on top of what he then realised was another player, a small boy.

“He didn’t realise he was there until he was on top of him.

“He tried to get off as quickly as he could and realised that Aryan was attended by his family so he stood back and left his details before he went home.

“When asked were you not able to break your fail he just said he had his hands on his gun, he just didn’t realise, it was just a surprise that he encountered Aryan.”

The jury are expected to return with their conclusion this afternoon.

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