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July 01, 2019

Girl, 9, in critical condition after M80 explodes in her hand in Kensington home

The victim has sustained 'life-altering' injuries, police said Monday

Investigations Fireworks
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A nine-year-old girl is in critical condition and may have lost multiple fingers after an explosive went off in her hand inside a Kensington home on Sunday night, police say. 

Philadelphia police said an M80 firecracker went off inside a home on the 1800 block of East Wishart Street while she was home alone Sunday morning. It's unclear if she lit the explosive.

The victim was rushed to St. Christopher's Hospital in North Philadelphia and sustained cuts and burns to her chest, torso and face, as well as burning in her eyes. Witnesses told CBSPhilly that the girl had missing fingers on her hands. 

During a news conference on Monday, investigators called her injuries "severe," "devastating" and "life-altering." She underwent surgery on Monday and remains in critical condition. Police said the fireworks were purchased by the victim's father on the street. 

M80s are not technically considered fireworks — by commercial or consumer definition — but a kind of explosive. These devices cannot be legally purchased, manufactured or sold in the United States, officials said. It's a violation of federal and state law to possess them.

A regular firecracker contains no more than 50 mg of flash powder. An M80, however, contains about 60 times more flash powder than a firecracker – about 3 grams.

An investigation is underway to determine who sold the fireworks to the victim's father and where they came from. Police said they're working with the District Attorney's office to determine if the father or seller will face charges. All parties are cooperating, police said.

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