Pretty balloons floating in the air is a common sight in many parties. The helium filled balloons are a big favourite also because they pose little danger, the gas being inert. But, many balloon providers try use a cheaper option, hydrogen, an inflammable gas as substitute.
"There was a small explosion at my daughter's birthday party this weekend at the Prestige Shantiniketan club house, and two kids suffered burns."
This was what Vipul Redey, a Bengaluru-resident and father of a two-year-old wrote on a Facebook group.
Vipul like many other parents had arranged for helium balloons at his daughter's birthday party. But suspecting that the balloons were instead filled with hydrogen, Vipul has now approached the Bengaluru police.
The family had ordered around 300 balloons and since the building had a low ceiling, the kids could reach the strings.
"Combining 300 hydrogen balloons with the low ceiling in the club house party hall and the hot bulbs overhead with no safety covers, it was just a matter of time before the hot bulbs ignited the first balloon which started a chain reaction of exploding balloons that caused a large loud fireball. Two kids caught right underneath that fireball were two 10 year old kids.... my nephew and my wife's niece. They both suffered face, ear and arm burns, burnt hair and even singed eyebrows and eyelashes. A lot of little kids were severely shaken up and crying. Several chair covers caught fire," said Vipul.
Filling balloons with hydrogen cuts the cost drastically, but the key difference is the danger it poses.