Tech CEO Dies After Stunt At Company Party Goes Awry In Hyderabad

In a tragic incident, a 56-year-old tech CEO has died after falling 20 feet during a stunt at his company’s silver jubilee celebrations in Hyderabad. Sanjay Shah, 56, the founder and CEO of US-based firm Vistex was being lowered towards the stage while being suspended in an iron cage along with company President Raju Datla on Friday. One of the cables holding up the cage suddenly snapped, sending both men hurtling towards the ground. While Sanjay Shah passed away, Raju Datla is currently in critical condition.

A video of the incident has also been shared on social media. The two men are in the metal enclosure suspended above the stage, and appear to be dancing in it as sparklers spew from all sides. There are fireworks on the stage as well, and a large crowd, comprised of the company’s employees, seems to be enjoying the festivities. The fireworks then appear to stop emanating from the metal enclosure, and it appears to be stuck, but the music keeps playing. A few seconds later, without warning, one of the cables holding up the cage appears to snap, sending both men hurtling headfirst towards the stage below.

Sanjay Shah Vistex accident

The stunt was planned as the opening of the event, and more than 680 people, including the parents, spouses and relatives of Shah and Datla, were in the audience. After the accident, the two men were immediately rushed to a nearby hospital and then to a corporate hospital. Shah succumbed to his injuries at the hospital at 12.10 am Friday; Datla is undergoing treatment for grievous injuries and remains critical.

“It is a stunt usually seen during dance performances on stage,” sub-inspector D Karnakar Reddy told the Indian Express. “The 6mm iron cable used here (to support the cage) snapped. We feel it was substandard and safety precautions were not in place but we will wait for a report from experts. We have booked the management of Ramoji Film City and others involved in the event. No arrests have been made so far and the investigation is on,” he added.

Shah and Datla were both US citizens, had come for a two-day event to celebrate the company’s 25 years with employees of the Hyderabad branch. Sanjay Shah had founded Vistex all the way back in 1999, and the company provided software solutions to other enterprises to enable them to take control of their mission-critical processes. The company today has 2,000 employees and 20 global offices, including on in Hyderabad.