A 14-year-old girl suffered "life-changing" injuries when fireworks went off in her hand in Cork city this afternoon.
The girl suffered extensive injuries to her left hand and to her face when fireworks went off as she was handling them on Barrack Street on the city’s southside around 2.30pm.
A Garda spokesman described the incident as “a very sad life-changing event for this young girl” and he confirmed that gardaí would focus their investigation on where the girl sourced the fireworks.
Staff from nearby Tom Barry’s pub assisted the teenager at the scene until a paramedic team arrived and administered further treatment, before the girl was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital (CUH).
It is understood that the girl underwent emergency surgery on her hand and face at CUH. It is believed that she has suffered significant damage to a number of her fingers on her left hand.
The girl was with a number of friends at the time and they were uninjured but were treated for shock by paramedics.
Every year in the run up to Halloween, gardaí launch Operation Tombola to try and seize illegal fireworks while warning the public of the dangers involved in handling and using them.
“The public is reminded that the importation for sale of fireworks into this jurisdiction without licence is illegal and any person found in possession of such items may be liable to prosecution,” said a Garda spokesman in a general press statement.
“In many cases, illegally imported fireworks come from very dubious origins and safety of the products may well be compromised.”