Glass-Coated Kite String Kills Three

| by Michael Doherty
A kite flying.A kite flying.

Three are dead after a glass-coated kite string, used to bring down other kites in a competition, slashed their throats in New Delhi.

The kite string was intended to bring down rival kites in a competition in India's capital city, but proved deadly, according to AP. The kite's string was coated in glass, which made it dangerous for people passing by.

One of the victims was Saanchi Goyal, a 3-year-old girl riding in a car with her parents who had her head sticking out of the sunroof. Her throat was slashed by the kite's string.

Another victim was Harry, a 4-year-old boy who was also looking out of a sunroof.

The third victim was a motorcyclist who fell off of his motorbike after the kite's string became tangled around his neck. The motorcyclist, Jafar Khan, 22, died from a head injury, according to his father, Ayub Khan.

On the same day, a police officer was also injured by a similar string, according to the BBC.

The victims died on India's independence day on Aug. 15, a day when many fly kites to celebrate. Kite flying is a popular sport in many parts of India.

Accidents caused by kite string have been on the rise, partly caused by the popularity of a type of kite string from China covered in glass or metal shards, intended to cut the strings of rival kites.

The strings, known locally as manja, are treated with a powdered glass or metal to make them sharp so they can cut others' kite lines.

New Delhi's city government has banned the glass-coated kite string after the deaths, imposing a $1,500 fine or five years in prison for anyone found to be selling the dangerous string. The ban applies to the production, sale and storage of any manja coated in nylon, plastic, glass or metal.

Similar deaths have occurred in the past, caused by manja strings. A 5-year-old boy was killed in 2015 by a similar string, as well as a 5-year-old girl in 2014.

The strings are also reported to harm and kill hundreds of birds each year, with at least 500 birds being admitted to Delhi's Charity Birds Hospital in the three days leading up to independence day, reports the BBC.

Sources: AP, BBC / Photo credit: Flickr

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