Students injured in festival fireworks malfunction

KRABI: At least 24 people, including several teenagers, were injured when a fireworks display at an event organized by the Krabi Provincial Administration Organization malfunctioned.

The event was titled ‘Legend of Krabi: City of 12 Zodiacs’ and held at Krabi Town yesterday.

The opening ceremony for the festival was chaired by Krabi Vice Governor Somkuan KanNguen, with officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and thousands of people in attendance.

Officials initially thought that the base of one of the fireworks fell over, shooting off sparks in all directions, but it was later reported that this was not the case.

They then spoke to Pongpan Kaewjompang, 32, who was in charge of the fireworks. He took full responsibility for the accident, agreed to compensate the victims and “promised to be more careful in future”.

“Mr Pongpan believes that humidity may have caused some of the firecrackers to explode prematurely, before reaching the required height. However, we are investigating the incident further,” said Capt Sawai Chukaew of Krabi City Police.

Mr Pongpan was charged with carelessness causing injury.

The injured included stage performers and audience members, including students aged 14-18 years. Most of them were discharged, but six students from Muang Krabi School are still under doctors’ care at Krabi Hospital.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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