Police are on the lookout for a gas balloon seller after his helium cylinder killed one 17-year-old boy and grievously injured another in the Indian province of Bagayam.
The balloon seller fled from the private event soon after the blast that occurred during a school sports day last Wednesday, 7 March.
The incident occurred at Shanthiniketan Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Bagayam around 4.15pm, before the start of the prize distribution.
The man hired to supply balloons for the function was inflating them when his assistant poured water into the cylinder and it exploded.
Witnesses told police that part of the cylinder flew nearly 250 feet before smashing into a wall where some students were sitting. The blast killed one student instantly and has left another battling for his life. Police have registered a case against the balloon seller, who is currently absconding.
“We are conducting a detailed inquiry to find out what went wrong,” said police superintendent P Pakalavan. “Police teams are looking for the balloon seller so we can ascertain what caused the explosion and decide on the charges.”
The school authorities had asked the balloon seller to leave after supplying the balloons but he had remained in situ, selling balloons to students.