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Mass Cremation Mishap Kills 2; Injures 8

The explosion of a tank filled with diesel fuel at a mass-cremation ceremony at a graveyard in the Village of Belega, Blahbatuh in Gianyar Regency, Bali, on Friday, 19 August, has resulted in the deaths of two and injuries to at least eight others. 

The two victims, aged 34 and 15, died on Saturday and Sunday, 20-21 August 2022, while undergoing emergency treatment for their burns at Bali’s Professor IGNG Ngoerah Hospital in Denpasar. Quoted by, Dr. Agus Roy Rusly Hariantana Hamid, a member of the hospital’s plastic surgery and aesthetic staff, said the 34-year-old victim suffered burns to 94% of his body as a result of the explosion. Meanwhile, the 15-year-old patient, identified only by the initials IKG, died at 5:00 pm on Sunday, burning over 98% of his body. Dr. Hamid continued, confirming that both patients arrived at the hospital in a grave state, explaining that patients with burns covering more than 90% of their body have a minimal survival rate of 1-3%.

Four other victims of the explosion under the hospital’s care are DP (32), in critical condition with burns over 70% of his body; NP (11) with burns over 34% of his body; AD (32) with burns over 54% of his body; and MB (50) with burns to 44% of his body. The three not listed in critical condition are currently stable. All four surviving patients are scheduled for debridement surgery to remove dead skin and tissue and perform skin grafts to speed the healing process and prevent infection. 

The accidental explosion occurred at a mass cremation ceremony attended by 14 family groups joining efforts to cremate the remains of 64 deceased members of the Hindu faith. 

After the cremation had begun, a diesel fuel tank explosion that police theorized was caused by the proximity of the fuel tank and the compressor used to excite the flames. 

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