Hydrogen caused balloon explosion, not helium: Police

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) – The balloon explosion incident in Dataran Putrajaya last Saturday was caused by the use of hydrogen in the balloons, said Putrajaya District Police Chief ACP Rosly Hasan.

He said police had opened an inquiry paper to find the root cause of the balloon explosion incident at the tail end of the Education Ministry’s 2019 National Sports Month event last Saturday, which injured 16 people including nine children.

Previous reports stated that the balloons were filled with helium gas. The incident was believed to have occurred when someone tried to cut the string tied to a bunch of balloons with a cigarette lighter, and the flame is believed to have struck one of the balloons before the whole bunch exploded.

“It was filled with hydrogen, not helium. Hydrogen is highly sensitive and extremely flammable,” he said in response to the case.

Rosly said police had also found a cigarette lighter at the scene, but the suspect has yet to be identified.

On the latest status of the victims, Rosly said as of 10am yesterday, two men and two women were still receiving treatment for a second-degree burn at the Putrajaya Hospital. They were among the six victims, including an eight-year-old girl admitted to the hospital after the incident.

Ten others received an out-patient treatment.