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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 01/11/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) An attempt to launch a hot air balloon inside a villa ended in tragedy when it exploded, killing two people and critically injuring another. Police said the explosion happened inside one of the villas in the Muawafijah area, about 5.40 on Tuesday evening.

The blast killed a Bangladeshi national identified as 26 year-old Deedar Alam M, who died on Tuesday evening, and Indian national W. Amberi, who died on Wednesday night. Egyptian Jamaludin N, 25, remains in a critical condition in hospital.

A police spokesman said they had been notified of a big explosion in the area.

"A team of police officers, rescuers and CID moved to the scene and found the accident had left a big impact in the area, shattered windows of the villa and its neighbours, and the windows of a car parked outside."

The home owner told police that the balloon had been purchased in the market, and the three men were filling it to be launched as a celebration of the coming National Day, the spokesman said.

He said police found the men were using helium gas to fill the balloon, which was both illegal and "very dangerous".

The three men were taken to hospital, with Deedar dying shortly after arrival at Al Qasimi hospital. He had burns to almost 98 per cent of his body. The two remaining casaulties were admitted to Kuwaiti hospital intensive care unit, but it was not until more than 24 hours later that Amberi passed away, about 7pm.

Police have sent a warning to untrained members of the public not to attempt to launch hot air ballons.

"Balloons should be bought from specialised companies, packaged by certified and licensed technicians," the spokesman said.

"We do not want similar accidents spoiling the celebration mood of the occasion that is so dear to our hearts."

He also warned the public against the use of illegal fireworks, and other dangerous materials.


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