16 injured in balloon explosion in Putrajaya

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail with one of the injured at Putrajaya Hospital on Saturday. Sixteen people, including nine children, were hurt when the balloons exploded at a fitness event.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail with one of the injured at Putrajaya Hospital on Saturday. Sixteen people, including nine children, were hurt when the balloons exploded at a fitness event.PHOTO: BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA • Gas-inflated balloons used as props for a fitness event at Dataran Putrajaya on Saturday morning exploded, injuring 16 participants, including children.

Malaysian media reported that nine children and seven adults were hurt during the incident, which took place as the Education Ministry's 2019 National Sports Month event was wrapping up.

The victims - whose ages ranged from four years old to the 30s - were rushed to Putrajaya Hospital.

The balloon explosion was caused by a lighter that was used to cut a rope fastener.

Putrajaya police chief Rosly Hasan said a parent tried to cut the fastener of the balloons - which were filled with helium and other gases - with a lighter. He added: "The preliminary investigation showed that there was no criminal element in the incident."

No arrests were made, he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail visited the victims at the hospital.

Putrajaya Hospital's Emergency and Trauma Department head Khairul Nizam Hassan said that none of those injured was in critical condition.

"They suffered first-and second-degree burns. The injury areas vary, with burns in the eyebrow, hair and hands," he said. "No one suffered total burns."

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2019, with the headline '16 injured in balloon explosion in Putrajaya'. Print Edition | Subscribe