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Acid attack teenagers 'comfortable'

Two teenagers attacked with acid in Zanzibar are said to be "well rested and comfortable" as they begin a second evening in hospital.

Friends Katie Gee and Kirstie Trup, both 18, were admitted to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London on Friday where they are receiving treatment for burns inflicted in an unprovoked attack while they were on a volunteering holiday.

Family members of both girls are keeping a bedside vigil, after the teenagers were flown home on Friday and immediately sent to the capital's regional burns centre. A hospital spokesman confirmed the pair, from north London, continue to be treated by medics. Their conditions are described as "stable".

He said: "The patients are well rested and comfortable at the hospital. They have been with their families all day. Doctors are continuing to assess treatment options for both patients."

Miss Gee has already taken to Twitter to say: "Thank you for all your support x".

A photograph released by the girls' families showed the injuries one of them suffered in the attack. The girl is shown wearing an open striped shirt and a silver necklace. What appear to be acid burns are clearly visible on her chin, neck and upper chest.

One of the girl's injuries are much worse than the other's, it was reported, because helpers used dirty water on her burns. One of the victims was reportedly immersed in the sea in the aftermath of the attack at Stone Town, a beach resort, and the salt water helped her skin. "That completely altered the result: the salt water and the acid," Miss Trup's father, Marc, said. "The other girl panicked, ran around, made her way to a public toilet." When "they got to the medical centre there was no shower," he added. "They were throwing dirty water at her."

Zanzibar's assistant police commissioner Mkadam Khamis Mkadam told an east African newspaper: "They were accosted by two men riding a motorcycle ... they poured this liquid ... we suspect it [was] an acid, before they ran away." He said the women were given first aid and taken to hospital in Dar es Salaam for further treatment, before returning to England. The commissioner said the women appeared to have escaped serious injury. "They are very lucky," he said.

The young women were enjoying the last week of a trip as volunteer teachers to the predominantly Muslim island when the corrosive substance was thrown at them in an apparently unprovoked attack. The girls had originally planned to return in time to collect their A-level results next week, with Miss Trup hoping to study history at the University of Bristol while Miss Gee is considering the University of Leeds, it was reported.

Meanwhile, it was reported that a radical Muslim preacher wanted in connection with the attack was shot as he fled police trying to arrest him. Reports said police in Zanzibar hit Sheikh Issa Ponda Issa in the shoulder with a tear gas canister after being cornered near the capital Dar es Salaam.


From Belfast Telegraph