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Fiji Time: 11:37 PM on Wednesday 23 April

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Balloon tragedy

Repeka Nasiko
Friday, January 11, 2013

A SIX-centimetre-long balloon found lodged in the throat of an eight-year-old girl caused her death while she was playing with friends at Qalau settlement in Ra on Wednesday.

According to police, Isha Yogeshni Kumar had been playing with her friends when she allegedly swallowed the inflatable object. Police media liaison officer west, Naina Ragigia said the young girl was found lying on the ground by her 17-year-old neighbour after being alerted by her six-year-old friend.

"She had asked her father to go to her friend's place and together they went to the 17-year-old girl's home who was with two other young children and they had balloons with them," she said.

"Isha asked for a balloon and after a while, the teenager left them to play while she went to her room.

"After a few minutes the teen was awoken by one of Isha's friends who told her that something was wrong with Isha."

Ms Ragigia said the Penang Primary School student's father was alerted and Isha was rushed to the Rakiraki Hospital.

"Upon her arrival at the hospital, doctors tried to revive her but she was pronounced dead on arrival. The doctor who attended to her found a six-centimetre balloon lodged in her throat."

Ms Ragigia said the statements of each witness had been taken but no charges had been laid. "That will all depend on the post-mortem examination that would be conducted later today (yesterday)," Ms Ragigia said.