A WOMAN who was “scalped” after her hair was trapped in the engine of a go-kart is said to have been left paralysed by the accident.
Shenaz Ahmed, 48, from Cumnock, Ayrshire, suffered severe head and neck injuries when her hair became tangled in the engine of a kart at an indoor track in Kilmarnock.
She had been on an evening out at The Garage leisure centre with her husband and two children, aged eight and 11, when the accident happened on Wednesday last week.
A source close to the family was reported as saying Mrs Ahmed had been left paralysed as a result of her neck injuries.
“Her scalp was ripped off and became wrapped around the axle of the wheel,” the source said. “There were piercing screams and the men who worked at the leisure centre came running over. I had to hold her head because her neck had been snapped.”
Mrs Ahmed was taken initially to Crosshouse Hospital near Kilmarnock before being transferred to the Southern General in Glasgow, which has a specialist unit for head injuries.
It is understood that surgeons have successfully reattached her scalp and operated on her neck.
The family source said: “She has had one operation on her scalp, which went very well. She is paralysed from the neck down but is still talking. At the moment, her neck is being held in place with pins. We are still hoping for the best.”
It is believed that Mrs Ahmed, who runs a property business, will spend the next six months in hospital and may not work again.
A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said yesterday that Mrs Ahmed was in a “serious but stable condition”.
An investigation by East Ayrshire Council into the accident has been carried out and environmental health service officers will submit a report to the procurator fiscal on the circumstances. It is claimed that Mrs Ahmed was not told to tuck her hair in, and that her helmet was not fitted properly and had come off in the accident.
Her children are said to have suffered from nightmares since the accident.
The source said that the family was consulting lawyers with a view to seeking compensation.
The Garage management declined to comment.
Members of the Scottish karting world have stressed that, for those involved in the sporting side, Motor Sports Association safety regulations mean that no one with long hair can race unless it is tucked inside their suit or pinned up under their helmet.
The Association of Scottish Karting Clubs stressed that this type of accident is very unusual but that privately run tracks such as The Garage did not observe some nationally enforced rules that govern the four certified tracks in Scotland.
The accident is similar to others that have occurred on go-kart tracks in recent years.
In 2012, a woman in Indianapolis, US, lost more than half her scalp after her hair was caught in an axle. In 2009, an 18-year-old woman was fatally injured when her scarf was caught in the engine of a go-kart in Cambridgeshire, strangling her.