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Boy injured in Pelham fireworks explosion improving
Ben Bertini was injured in a fireworks accident at Dodge Road in Pelham on July 3. He is recovering from his injuries in Shriner's Hospital in Boston. (Courtesy)
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PELHAM - Three year old Ben Bertini, put into a medically-induced coma after being injured in a fireworks explosion, has been upgraded.
“It's not as serious as we originally thought,” said Edmund Gleason, a Pelham selectman and Ben's great-grandfather through marriage.
The accident occurred at the Dodge Road residence of Gleason's daughter Jeannie Pappathan and her husband Chris. Ben Bertini is Chris' grandson.
Doctors placed Ben in a coma after he was airlifted to Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston, Mass., with a wound under his arm and burns over 20 percent of his body. His condition is being evaluated but it has been upgraded and he may be taken out of the coma on Friday, Gleason said.
“He should make a full recovery,” Gleason said.
Chris Pappathan is still hospitalized and may require skin grafts, Gleason said.
Gleason was not at the annual Fourth of July party where the accident occurred. The home has an open deck abutted by a closed deck. He heard that Ben may have been standing on the enclosed portion when a stray firework hit and ignited other fireworks stored there. Another great-grandson, Tyler, 2, was standing nearby.
Ben's mother, Jessica Bertini, pulled him from the fire. She was also treated and released for burns. Another relative grabbed Tyler and ran through the door, Gleason said.
Both boys were transported to Shriners Hospital along with an 8-month-old girl who was burned over 10 percent of her body.
Tyler was released from the hospital after being treated for superficial burns, Gleason said.
The accident occurred shortly after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night at the couple's annual Fourth of July celebration. Five children and six adults were injured.
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