Three infants, including five-month-old twins, were airlifted to hospital last night after suffering severe burns in what gardaí described as a domestic accident in West Cork.
The children, all under the age of two, were injured when a petrol canister apparently ignited after being brought into their house just outside Drinagh, south of Dunmanway. It is believed a spark from a fire ignited the petrol.
The scene remained sealed off last night as Garda forensic experts tried to establish what caused the accident. They hope to speak to the parents of the children today, who last night were maintaining a vigil at their bedsides at Cork University Hospital (CUH).
The alarm was raised at around 6pm when the parents called neighbours for help.
Valentia Coast Guard launched a major emergency response operation.
Members of the West Cork Rapid Response team, paramedics from the National Ambulance Service, gardaí, and fire crews from both Clonakilty and Dunmanway, responded to the incident.
The children’s injuries were so severe that it was decided not to transfer them by ambulance, but to task the Shannon-based rescue helicopter, R115.
The situation was later deemed so critical that the emergency services opted to land the helicopter in a field close to the house, rather than on a nearby GAA field, which had been designated an emergency landing zone.
The children were flown to Cork Airport, from where they were transferred by ambulances to CUH.
Doctors were last night still assessing the children but it is believed that their conditions are not life-threatening.
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