4-year-old boy, 4 others injured as fireworks explode in Tarlac
MABALACAT CITY, Pampanga––A 4-year-old boy, his parents, and two others were burned and wounded after the fireworks they were transporting exploded while traveling Thursday, Dec. 30, along the highway in Salapungan village in Tarlac City.
Col. Erwin Sanque, Tarlac police director, said the victims were on board two motorcycles when the “kwitis” (aerial fireworks) they were carrying exploded around 7 p.m., severely injuring them and damaging their vehicles.
Sanque said the child, Kyle Nicxzell Castro, was with his parents Rexell Castro, 28, and Danica Castro, 27, on a Rusi motorcycle, and were cruising southward, when the fireworks they were transporting exploded, and flew toward the motorcycle behind them carrying Jayson Punsalan, 37, and Roger Taan, 48.
“As a result, the firecrackers on the second motorcycle also exploded,” Sanque said.
The victims were brought to the Tarlac Provincial Hospital.
Video footage taken and posted by motorists and residents in the area showed that felled tree branches and parts of motorcycles were scattered on the highway.
As of Friday noon, Lt. Col. Jerrold Jake Manguerra, Tarlac City police chief, said Kyle successfully underwent a debridement (skin wound treatment) operation, along with his father, Rexell, who was scheduled to undertake leg surgery.
Danica, the boy’s mother was intubated after a surgical operation and was waiting for a reconstructive operation.
Punsalan underwent surgery to treat his skin wound, while Taan was set for the same procedure.
Sanque said an initial investigation showed that the victims were fireworks vendors.
The Tarlac police have been inspecting fireworks and firecrackers stores and makeshift stalls for several days now to ensure compliance with the national police’s policies on the selling and distribution of pyrotechnic products.