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Boy, 9, loses fingers while playing with fireworks in UAE

Police arrest vendor suspected of selling the unlicensed items

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: A nine-year old Comorian boy lost two fingers and suffered a laceration on his left hand as a result of misusing illegal fireworks which police claim he bought from an Al Ain vendor.

The suspected salesman has been transferred to the Public Prosecution for charges of selling and promoting the fireworks and is detained pending investigation.

Brigadier Hamad Ajlan Al Amimi, Director of the Al Ain Police Directorate, said in a statement: “A search and investigation team from the Al Hili Police Station was immediately formed to identify the culprit who sold the fireworks to the injured child, to follow-up on the circumstances surrounding the case, and to investigate and arrest the suspect for selling fireworks to individuals. The suspect was then referred to the public prosecution in preparation for his trial.”

The official also urged residents to report any suspicions of the unauthorised selling of firecrackers, and other explosive substances, by contacting 999 or heading to the nearest police station.

Individuals caught selling and promoting these items in their shops or online through social media websites will face prosecution for attempting to trade in unlicensed weapons, explosives and ammunition.

Several residents have reported suffering minor injuries when firecrackers were previously being used legally throughout the capital’s households. However, since then, police have only permitted authorised public and private institutions to set off fireworks during events in strategic locations and controlled environments in a bid to ensure public safety.

The police had also launched an awareness campaign on the occasion of the recent Eid Al Fitr which commenced last Monday. In parallel, instructions on refraining from leaving children in vehicles unattended have also been issued by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) to ensure a comprehensive campaign on child safety.

“Providing full care for the youth is one of the most important duties of the family,” Lieutenant Colonel Faisal Mohammad Al Shimmari, Director of the MoI’s Child Protection Centre said. “By communicating with children and families, we can build and support the protective barriers needed to benefit our society and raise our children the right way,” he added.