Boy Dies in Firecracker Mishap

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Believed to be the first such case recorded nationwide this year, a 12-year-old boy who was playing with firecrackers alone was found dead following a loud explosion.

Goh Pei Pei/NST

Haiqal Hakim Zolpaka was found dead by his father at 12.15 am outside his house in the village of Kampung Bintawa Hilir near Kuching, Sarawak.

The father had rushed out following the explosion and found Haiqal Hakim lying lifeless with a head injury.

Jaliah Suhaili, who was busy preparing Hari Raya Aidilfitri dishes, at first thought the noise was an explosion of gas cylinder coming from her neighbour’s house.

“I rushed outside, as I had never heard of something so loud.

“I was shocked when I saw my son lying on the ground with blood all over his head,” said the teary-eyed mother.

The 39-year-old housewife said she was unaware of what firecrackers her son was playing with.

“I didn’t know what type (fire crackers) and where he got it. We didn’t buy such things for him to play,” she said.

Jaliah said Haiqal was a good boy and helped to paint his neighbour’s house during the fasting month.

“I thought it (last night) was the last day of fasting and we managed to break fast with all the family members together…I didn’t know it would be the last meal with Haiqal…,” she added.

Jaliah said family members were busy with final preparations for Raya, including cooking and cleaning when the incident occurred.

“As usual, he would walk around and play alone in the village. It was something normal so we didn’t stop him (from going out),” she added.

Just two days ago, the victim had followed his neighbour to shop for ‘baju raya’ in town.

“As I needed to care for his two-year-old younger sister, I gave him some money to buy his ‘Baju Raya’.

“I didn’t expect the first day of raya would become a funeral of our son,” Jaliah said.

The victim was a Year 6 pupil from SK Matu Baru and the third child among four siblings.

According to the New Straits Times, Sarawak Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Dev Kumar said that police will be investigating the incident in all angles.