IRKUTSK, June 1. /TASS/. An attempt to demonstrate the principle of fireworks operation in a science show at the Comsomall shopping center in Irkutsk left eight children injured by ignited gas-air mixture; four of them were taken to hospital with burns.
The Gravitation science & entertainment center located at Comsomall organized a science show on International Day for Protection of Children. The Russian Investigative Committee’s Directorate for the Irkutsk Region told TASS that the children were shown various scientific experiments with the use of liquid nitrogen, electricity and chemical agents. The program included a chemical experiment which had to demonstrate the principle of fireworks operation and in which the presenter used chemical agents.
Eight children received burns when the gas-air mixture ignited and were taken to the Irkutsk Burn Center. Four of them were released after examination, while the others remained in the hospital; one child was taken to an intensive care unit (ICU) with burns covering 25% of his body.
The witnesses wrote in social media that the ignited mixture got on the children’s heads and faces.
The children who remained in the hospital had their burns treated, and the boy in the ICU underwent anti-shock treatment, the regional Health Ministry department told TASS. The experiment presenter was not injured. Irkutsk Deputy Mayor Tatyana Edelman told the agency that the city administration would help all the victims and organize their rehabilitation by sending the children to a health camp after recovery.
Based on this incident a criminal case was launched under item B of Part 2 Article 238 of the Russian Criminal Code ("The provision of services that failed to comply with the safety requirements and inflicted grievous bodily harm.") Gravitation’s technical director and guides were arrested. The Russian Emergencies Ministry said it would ask investigators to take into account the fact that evacuation had not been carried out.