Previously, the official statement as reported by Bernama was that the balloons were filled with Helium but as many netizens, including our diligent readers, has pointed out, Helium is an inert gas and is not combustible.
Yesterday (October 12), a shocking incident happened in Putrajaya when balloons used as props for a Ministry of Education fitness event suddenly exploded and left 16 injured, including a 4-year-old.
Based on an official briefing, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah further elaborated in an interview with Harian Metro of the cause of the explosion. It was revealed that one of the parents in attendance wanted to take one balloon to give to his child by cutting one balloon string using a lighter. Unfortunately, the flames accidentally struck one of the balloons resulted in the explosion.
However, recent developments in the incident indicate that it may not have been the parent’s fault after all. Even though official media agencies, including national news agency Bernama reported that the organizers filled the prop balloons with Helium, the strength of the blast and how easily the balloons caught on fire made it seem that Helium wasn’t the only gas used.
Source: Malay Mail
Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah concurred to such suspicions and as reported in Malay Mail, said that the incident may have been caused by mixing of gases. Furthermore, she further noted that Helium is an inert gas and is not flammable hence the balloons must have been filled with a combination of other gasses that are flammable to reduce costs. How irresponsible!
Our DPM further stated,
“If the organizers only used Helium, it shouldn’t be an issue. However, when you mix it with other flammable gases just to cut costs, it can cause all kinds of problems.”
Fortunately, there is some good news regarding the incident as 4 of those injured have been discharged by the Hospital. Dr Wan Azizah who is also the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development said that a few of the victims are traumatised by the incident and the Social Welfare Department will provide psychological support if necessary, especially to the child victims.
Source: Harian Metro
The DPM also iterated that she doesn’t want the same incident to happen again and advised organizers to follow proper procedures, especially when dealing with flammable gas and objects.
Dr Wan Azizah however, did not comment on whether there will be actions taken against the event organizers if there were found to use flammable gas for the event in order to cut costs.
What do you make of this recent development of the incident? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section!
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