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26 Injured After Firework Explosion In Sungai Petani Thaipusam Celebration

Police have detained four men for investigation.

Cover image via New Straits Times

Last night, fireworks exploded during a Thaipusam celebration at the Sri Subramaniya Swami Temple in Sungai Petani

At about 8.30pm yesterday, the celebration attended by more than 30,000 Hindus turned chaotic when 26 people were injured from the explosions. 

The crowd was watching the chariot procession emerging from the temple, which started about 30 minutes earlier according to Bernama

Devotees at the celebration were "running for their lives" when the fireworks suddenly exploded

One of the victims, A Tiruselvi told Bernama that she was near the vehicles in the procession with her son when the explosion happened.

"Some fireworks went off on the ground sending the crowd scattering for cover," she said.

Victims were rushed to the Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital for treatment.

Image via New Straits Times

Another victim, M Murugia injured his three fingers even though he was standing quite a distance away from the scene, according to New Straits Times.

"The explosion was quite loud and suddenly I felt sharp pain on my fingers," he told New Straits Times.

T Asokumar was also with his sons about 200 metres away from the fireworks when the incident happened.

In the report by New Straits Times, Asokumar said he managed to help a girl who was suffering from injury on her eyes but was thankful that his sons escaped with minor wounds. 

Kedah MIC chief Datuk Jaspal Singh told reporters that most of the victims suffered light injuries

"We will ask the authorities to investigate the incident because we did not include fireworks in the celebration agenda," he said.

A policeman was also among the victims of the incident.

Four men were arrested at about midnight for investigation under the Penal Code and the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act 1958 (CESOWA)

Kuala Muda district police chief ACP Saifi Abdul Hamid said the men, aged between 25 and 34 will be investigated under Section 324 of the Penal Code for voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous means, and Section 4 of the CESOWA. 

Furthermore, no permit was issued to the organiser of the event for the firework display. However, he did not rule out the possibility of a group of people lighting the fireworks to "add gaiety to the celebration". 

Nonetheless, no element of sabotage was found in the investigation.

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