KUALA LUMPUR: Two boys had both their hands amputated yesterday when five gadgets shaped like tennis balls which they found at their play site, exploded.
It is learnt that doctors in Kuala Lumpur Hospital (KLH) have also removed nails and pieces of blades from the body of Saiful Amirul Kamaruddin, seven, Syed Mohd Sharin, 11, and two girls who were also present when the “toys” blew up at an abandoned shoplot in Sungai Buloh on Saturday.
One of the girls - Haslina Ibrahim, 10 - was blinded in the left eye by splinters. Her sister Hasliana, eight, had minor bruises.
Initial investigations found that the “toys” were made from gunpowder, sulphur and other unidentified flammable substances, which were mixed with nails and razor blades.
The children are still warded at the Incentive Care Unit of KLH.
The girls’ mother, Ramlah Awang, 48, said she was informed by her neighbours about the blast after she returned home from visiting a friend.
Ramlah, who has 12 children, with Haslina and Hasliana as the youngest two, said the shoplot was a usual hangout for her children.
Selangor CID chief Senior Asst Comm II Abu Bakar Mustaffa said the four youngsters lived near the Sungai Buloh prison and the shoplot was in the vicinity.
They played frequently at the shoplot, which used to be a restaurant owned by Ramlah’s husband, who passed away three years ago, he said.
“The place has been abandoned since then,” he said when met at HKL yesterday.
“On Saturday evening, the children went there and were thrilled to find the five objects that were wrapped in a plastic bag which they assumed to be rubber balls.”
“One boy held a ‘ball’ and then unknowingly bounced it on the ground, expecting it to return to him, but it exploded on him instead,” said SAC II Abu Bakar.
The other boy, who had another one in his hands, tried to run but suffered the same fate when the “ball” fell and blew up, he said.
A bomb disposal unit from the state police contingent was deployed to the scene and recovered three explosives believed to be home-made.
SAC II Abu Bakar said the forensic police and Chemistry Department would examine the other three other explosives which had been “detonated.” He urged anyone with information on the incident to contact the nearest police station.