Tech CEO Killed in Freak Accident at Company Party

Vistex CEO and founder Sanjay Shah dies in fall from cage during aerial show
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2024 1:30 AM CST

A party for employees of software company Vistex ended in tragedy Thursday night when the company's CEO was killed, and its president seriously injured, in a freak accident. Around 700 people were in attendance at the party in India to celebrate Vistex Asia's 25th anniversary when CEO Sanjay Shah, 56, of Chicago (Vistex is based in Illinois) and president Raju Datla, 52, were lifted above the crowd in an iron cage during an aerial show for the crowd, CBS News reports. Wires holding the cage suddenly snapped, sending the men tumbling 20 feet to the concrete dais below, the Times of India reports.

Shah, who founded Vistex in 1999, died at a nearby hospital and Datla was still reported to be in critical condition as of Saturday night. A director for Vistex alleges organizers of the event failed to implement adequate safety measures, and police are investigating the incident. In addition to a lack of safety precautions, the director wrote in a police complaint, "It took close to 15-20 minutes for the event organizers to arrange an ambulance to transport the injured to the hospital. We had to transport Raju Datla in our car." The flag at Vistex headquarters in Illinois is flying at half-staff. (More freak accident stories.)

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