Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Girl hit by horse on beach

Semi-conscious: Arina being wheeled in to Penang Hospital after she was hit by a horse along the beach in Batu Ferringhi yesterday.

A five-year-old girl, building sandcastles on the Batu Ferringhi beach here was hit by a horse and is now warded in Penang Hospital.

Arina Kirana Azrin and her 12-year-old sister were at the beach yesterday morning when a horse, ridden by a beach boy, came their way.

The two were too surprised to run away and one of the horse's hooves hit Arina.

Her father Azrin Abdul Razak, 37, a senior civil servant from Putrajaya, said he was talking to his friends when all of a sudden he heard a galloping sound. When he turned around to look, he saw his daughter on the ground.

“The rider did not stop to help. He was riding the horse at high speed even though the beach was crowded at that time.

“Arina was partially conscious and we rushed her to a nearby clinic before she was transferred to the hospital,” he said, claiming that a few Penang Municipal Council officers were standing some 15m away but failed to come to their aid.

The family came to Penang for a holiday on Monday and was planning to return to Kuala Lumpur today.

George Town Deputy OCPD Supt Abdul Halim Bulat said a 28-year-old man was arrested at about 2pm near the scene in connection with the incident and a horse had also been seized.

He said the case had been classified as committing a rash or negligent act that could endanger a human life under Section 338 of the Penal Code which carries a maximum jail term of two years or fine up to RM2,000, or both upon conviction.

State Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the council's report revealed that the horse rider was actually fleeing from enforcement personnel.

Tourists were shocked over the accident and called for the Penang Government to be more stringent in controlling sports activities there.

Ruslam Zakaria, from Kuala Lum-pur, described the incident as a hit-and-run version on the beach as the horse rider galloped away after knocking down Arina.

He said he was taking pictures on the beach when he saw a horse ridden by a man running away from two council enforcement officers.

Australian Craig Dunstan, 29, said the authorities should look into the matter seriously before it becomes critical.

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