Man dies after freak accident involving movie theater seat

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A man in Birmingham, U.K. died after he got his head stuck in the footrest of his electronic movie theater seat, according to Variety. The tragic and freak accident occurred on March 9 at a Vue cinema complex, but Vue Intl. didn’t announce the incident until the patron’s death on March 16.

According to reports, the film had already concluded when the man attempted to retrieve his phone, which he’d dropped between the theater’s Gold Class seats.

“The Gold Class seats are electric reclining seats. He bent down to look for his phone. At this point, the leg-rest was in an upright position,” a source who spoke to Birmingham Mail said.

From Variety: After he bent down, the reclining, electric seat’s footrest clamped down on the man’s head. He was attending the film with his partner, who reportedly became frantic as the man started to panic upon realizing he was stuck. Staff and other patrons at the cinema struggled to free him but eventually broke him out of the entrapment.

The man suffered cardiac arrest. After paramedics successfully restarted his heart, he was rushed to Heartlands Hospital, the West Midlands Ambulance Service confirmed to the Guardian.

Vue Intl. said in a statement: “Following an incident which took place on Friday 9 March at our Birmingham cinema, we can confirm that a customer was taken to hospital that evening. We are saddened to learn that he passed away on Friday 16 March.”

The company said a “full investigation into the nature of the incident” was ongoing and offered “thoughts and condolences” to the family. They also said the family has their “full support and assistance.”

The Birmingham City Council is also investigating.

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