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8-year-old boy hit by firecracker dies in Cebu

/ 03:44 PM September 29, 2015

CEBU CITY—Village festivities turned into tragedy on Monday night when a powerful firecracker used in the fireworks display hit and killed an 8-year-old boy.

The firecracker called “bombshell” hit and exploded onto the abdomen of Sam Alia Monteron, who was watching the fireworks display with his neighbors some 15 to 20 meters away from the base of the spectacle in Barangay San Miguel, Cordova town, Mactan Island, Cebu.

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The neighbors attended the Mass at the chapel about 8 p.m. on Monday, the eve of the village feast in honor of their patron St. Michael Archangel.
Sam’s mother Michelle, 33, said Sam was playing with other children after the Mass. When the fireworks display started, the children went to the site to watch.

Michelle and his common-law husband Bryaner, 29, were on the street with their other children.

After the explosions, Michelle said she heard people shouting that a boy named Samsam was hit.

Sam was still breathing when they brought him to the Lapu-Lapu District Hospital, said Michelle. But he was so weak that his body refused to accept the oxygen. He died a few minutes later.

PO3 Alex Noron of the Cordova police station said the fireworks display was contracted in the amount of P10,000. But it was not clear who authorized and arranged it.

Noron said the fire department of the town claimed that they had not issued permit for the fireworks display.

The firecrackers were owned by Juliet Wahing, a former resident of barangay San Miguel, who is now based in Barangay Babag 2, Lapu-Lapu City where manufacturing of firecrackers is rampant.

Noron said Wahing claimed to be a licensed firecracker manufacturer although as of 3 p.m. on Tuesday, she had not submitted her documents to the police.

She, however, turned over to the police her two personnel –Joseph Berdin, 29 and Jason Tuquib, 31, who were in charge of the fireworks display.

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Noron said that during the fireworks display, some of the firecrackers did not launch vertically but instead flew horizontally, hitting the boy and a house owned by Narciso Ochea.

Noron said they will coordinate with the Firearms Explosives Security Service Agency and Guards Supervisory Section (FESSAGS) to determine the other violations committed and who should be answerable for the incident.

He added that the conduct of a fireworks display must be done away from houses and spectators. In this case, Noron said, it was held in a small open space near the chapel and barangay hall. Jhunnex Napallacan,
Inquirer Visayas/CDG

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TAGS: Barangay San Miguel, boy, Cebu, Cordova town, feast day, fireworks, killed, Lapu-Lapu city, Mactan Island
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