Five of the 13 people who suffered facial burns in a cylinder blast during a Kalyan school’s Christmas party are in a critical state, with one child almost certainly having lost his vision.

Also read: Cylinder blast puts tragic end to school's Christmas cheer in Kalyan

The balloon vendor died in the explosion on December 24 at Kalyan’s Arya Gurukul, during the annual ‘Khel Mela’
The balloon vendor died in the explosion on December 24 at Kalyan’s Arya Gurukul, during the annual ‘Khel Mela’

The five — all children — were shifted to PD Hinduja Hospital on Sunday after the parents felt the Dombivali hospital where they were being treated did not have the facilities to treat them.

Cops inspect the site of the blast
Cops inspect the site of the blast

Doctors at Hinduja told mid-day at least one child may not recover his vision. The balloon vendor died in the explosion on December 24 at Kalyan’s Arya Gurukul, which was holding a ‘Khel Mela’ to celebrate Christmas and the end of semester. The gala was attended by over 800 parents and as many children.

Kaushal Pawar
Kaushal Pawar

Parents of the five children being treated at Hinduja said they have spent around Rs 8.5 lakh on treatment so far.

All the families are lower-middle class, with parents working in government and small private hospitals.

Sudhakar Pawar, father of Kaushal Pawar (4) told mid-day that the condition of the children was deteriorating at ACE Hospital due to which they decided to shift them.

Also read: Balloon vendor killed in cylinder blast in Thane, 13 injured

“The children weren’t showing signs of recovery due to which we shifted them here. They are not able to open their eyes and all the parents are with the children as of now. Till now, we all have spent around R8.5 lakhs for the treatment,” said Sudhakar.

The resident medical officer of Ace Children’s Hospital Dombivali, said the children needed immediate specialised ophthalmology treatment due to which they were referred to PD Hinduja Hospital.

“Our ophthalmologists ran the necessary tests but the prognosis of the conditions couldn’t be done. The children were suffering from eye issues and their homodynamic condition was perfect. That’s why we referred them to specialised centre,” said the doctor. While the children had suffered about 9 per cent burn injuries, doctors at Hinduja said since the injuries have affected the sensitive region like eyes, they have become critical.

Eyesight of Navin Patil (4), one of the five victims is apparently badly affected due to the incident. Parents said that the damage is irreparable and there is a possibility that Patil will suffer permanent sight damage due to the injuries.

Talking about the condition of the children, Dr Sanjay Agarwala, DPS, PD Hinduja Hospital said, “The medical teams at the institution are attempting to treat these explosion type injuries with diligent care.”

Some of the parents alleged that the school authorities have distanced themselves from the incident.

“The school authorities are in touch, but their response is not at all satisfactory. If this continues, we will have to think about an action plan against the school. As of now we are only worried about the children’s safety and well-being,” said a parent on the condition of anonymity. Bharat Malik, the school representative was unavailable for a comment despite repeated attempts.

Meanwhile, five of the seven patients admitted to Thane’s Metro Hospital have been discharged. Damodar Patil (father of Navin) and Rajendra Prasad (son of the balloon vendor) have undergone surgeries at the hospital but are yet to recover vision.

“Both the patients will take at least four to five months to recover their vision. Small particles had ruptured their lenses and we had to do inter-ocular lens implants for both of them,” said Dr Amruta Patil, RMO of the hospital.

Sources added that while both the patients were ready to be discharged, they are refusing to leave as their vision is yet to recover and there is nobody back home to look after them.