Homemade firecracker caused sandbox bang

A four-year-old girl was seriously injured when a homemade firecracker blew up in her hands at a pre-school in the Stockholm district of Sköndal on Thursday.

“She didn’t find it in the sandbox but it was stuck in a rain gutter on a storage shed close to the sandbox,” said Christer Nilsson at the southern Stockholm police, to news agency TT on Friday.

When the little girl pulled at the cracker she heard a whooshing sound and then a loud bang, according to police.

The girl was immediately taken to a Stockholm children’s hospital where doctors operated on her hands during the afternoon and evening. According to police the operation was complicated and was expected to take around 12 hours.

The girl woke from the anaesthetic around midnight and her condition is reported to be stable. Doctors say that they have good hope that her hands may have been saved.

“She is OK under the circumstances and there is a good chance she will recover well,” said Nilsson to TT.

Bomb technicians were sent to investigate the area and the pre-school’s surroundings were thoroughly searched for any other charges.

Some findings have been made on the premises and police will question people from the neighbourhood over the course of Friday.

According to TT, two men had been apprehended by police on Wednesday evening, after being observed to be driving around the area throwing firecrackers into public places.

They were stopped by police a few kilometers from the preschool on the suspicion of devastation endangering the public.

“They were driving around blowing up bus shelters. We are suspecting that there could be a connection, “ press spokeswoman Catharina Nordin told daily Expressen on Thursday.

According to Christer Nilsson the two incidents will be compared. The men are under suspicion for possession of everything from homemade bombs to foreign firecrackers, a serious offense according to the police.

“However, the type of firecracker that the little girl found is not of the same type as those that the men had in their possession,” Nilsson said.

Due to the incident local company Sisab who owns and manages a number of pre-schools in the area are upping their security.

“We will have all the grounds checked, and especially the sandboxes,” said CEO Åsa Öttenius to Expressen.

The company will inspect the five pre schools that are closest to the one where the explosion occurred.

“We want to see if we can find anything else that looks like what the little girl found. We sincerely hope we find nothing and that this was a one-off incident,” said Öttenius to TT.

The incident has been classified by police as attempted murder, carelessness endangering the public, alternatively gross negligence causing bodily harm.

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