Education Ministry: Treatment of balloon explosion victims priority for now

Sri Rahayu Sugiono shows a burn on her daughter Nur Haffiqah Khalid, 4, from the helium balloons while her two other children look on in Putrajaya October 12, 2019. — Bernama pic
Sri Rahayu Sugiono shows a burn on her daughter Nur Haffiqah Khalid, 4, from the helium balloons while her two other children look on in Putrajaya October 12, 2019. — Bernama pic

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 12 — The Education Ministry (MOE) will seek a report on the helium balloon explosion incident that injured 16 people here today, but the focus now was on the victims’ treatment and recovery.

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said the ministry has obtained information from several individuals regarding the incident at Dataran Putrajaya in which several students and teachers suffered burns after a bunch of helium-inflated balloons exploded.

The balloons were used as props for a MOE-organised fitness event, and the explosion occurred at about 11.30am after an individual had attempted to cut the string tried to balloons using a cigarette lighter while everyone was busy packing up.

Teo had earlier officiated the event held in conjunction with the National Sports Month and had taken part in the activities as well.

“Some of the victims are declining to speak as they are still emotionally unstable (over the incident). We will definitely find out (more details) but that is not the top priority now.

 “What matters now is they (victims) get the right and best treatment,” Teo told reporters at the Putrajaya Hospital Emergency and Trauma Department where the victims were being treated.

“The ministry will continue to monitor their condition,” Teo added.

Meanwhile, Putrajaya Hospital public relations officer Nur Iffariena Mohd Zarudin said as at 5pm, six victims including an eight-year-old child have been warded, while the other 10 victims were allowed to return home.

She said police had also taken down statements from the victims. — Bernama

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