Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham cinema's seats shut after head-trap death

StarCity entertainment complex with signs for Vue cinema Image copyright Google
Image caption A cinema's special seats are unavailable to customers following the death of a man who became trapped

"Gold Class" seats at a cinema where a man's head was trapped by an electronic footrest are off limits to customers following his death.

He died on Friday - a week after the accident at Vue International's Birmingham branch.

Customers wishing to book the special seats - in the venue's premium "Gold Class" screens - are being told they are unavailable until further notice.

Emergency crews said the man went into cardiac arrest when he became wedged.

Image copyright Tony Adams
Image caption Emergency crews attended the scene at StarCity and found a man in cardiac arrest

Vue International said on Tuesday a "full investigation" was ongoing and it was "saddened" by the death. The BBC has asked for comment on the seats' availability.

There are 25 screens at entertainment complex StarCity where the cinema is based; three of which are "Gold Class" and offer the "luxury seating".

The dead man has not been formally named by authorities.

The Birmingham Mail reported the incident happened after he bent down to retrieve a phone dropped between seats - and was only freed, it said, when the footrest was broken by those trying to help.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said crews arrived at the scene to find customers giving him CPR after he went into cardiac arrest. His heart was restarted, a spokesperson said.

Cinemagoer Tony Adams said he saw a fire crew with cutting gear.

In Tuesday's statement, Vue International confirmed a customer had been taken to hospital on Friday 9 March and said the dead man's family had its "full support and assistance".

Prior to his death, Birmingham City Council said it had been notified of the incident and a health and safety investigation was under way.

On Thursday, the authority said it could not "provide more information at this time" and issues surrounding the seats' availability was a matter for the cinema.

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