Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Play park horror as boy aged 11 is hit by petrol bomb

Kevin Grint
Kevin Grint
The burns on the back of 11-year-old Kevin Grint
The burns on the back of 11-year-old Kevin Grint

The family of an 11-year-old schoolboy who suffered severe burns when he was struck with a petrol bomb in a play park full of children have spoken of their horror.

Kevin Grint's mum, Donna Donnell, believed her son was safe as he played in the Bishop's Field Play Park in Londonderry when two boys, aged around 12 or 13 years old, suddenly hurled the flaming device at him.

The incident in the Iniscarn Crescent area happened at around 4.45pm yesterday and the emergency services were quickly at the scene.

Kevin asked for his father to ride with him in the ambulance to Altnagelvin Hospital before he was transferred to the Royal Hospital in Belfast.

The schoolboy suffered 7% burns on his back, the majority of which are second degree burns, while 2% are fourth degree.

Shaking with anger, Kevin's aunt Lynette Donnell said the family were "thanking their prayers it wasn't his face".

"This is my sister's son and my own nephew and, I can tell you, we are filled with anger and worry tonight," she said. Speaking on behalf of Kevin's distraught mother Donna last night, Ms Donnell described the attack as an "absolute disgrace".

"Donna's very confused and upset. She doesn't know whether she's coming or going," she said.

"We are looking after the rest of the kids here tonight, before Donna joins Kevin's dad down in Belfast in the morning.

"As a mum, it's shocking to see our children face such an attack. This shouldn't happen anywhere – but it especially shouldn't happen in a play park."

Lynette said hours after the incident, she was filled with shock and disgust.

"Parents should know where their children are, that's what they are there for," she said.

Last night Kevin was seen by a plastic surgeon.

"The wee critter will have to have skin grafts. In a way we are thankful he cannot feel anything in his back and therefore no pain, but it's even more worrying he can feeling nothing," his aunt added.

Local Sinn Fein councillor Kevin Campbell said "this is a job for the PSNI".

"Not only is this a tragedy – it's insane," he said.

"Words cannot begin to describe how this community is feeling, they are in shock. That play park is for enjoyment and for young people to feel safe. This is disgusting."

The £1m play park which serves the residents in the Creggan estate was opened three years ago.

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