Female tourist hospitalised with eye injury after being shot by high-pressure water gun during Yunnan Water-Splashing Festival

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19th April 2024 – (Jinghong) A female tourist attending the Yunnan Water-Splashing Festival in Xishuangbanna was hospitalized after sustaining an eye injury when she was targeted by a high-pressure water gun on 14th April. The incident left her momentarily blinded and resulted in the accumulation of blood in her eye.

According to Ms. Huang, the victim, she was visiting the Gaozhuang Xishuangjing Scenic Area in Xishuangbanna when an unidentified man approached her and sprayed high-pressure water from a close range towards her head and face. Startled, she instinctively covered her eyes, but when she looked back, the person had already disappeared. During the encounter, she experienced a momentary loss of vision and was unable to see her surroundings.

Medical records from the Xishuangbanna People’s Hospital Outpatient Department indicate that Ms. Huang sought emergency treatment an hour after the incident, reporting blurred vision and pain in her right eye due to being sprayed with water. Initial examinations revealed that her left eye had a visual acuity of 1.0, while her right eye’s visual acuity dropped to 0.25. Doctors diagnosed her with hyphema, the presence of blood in the anterior chamber of the eye, and recommended hospitalization for further treatment.

Following the incident, various local authorities collaborated to investigate the matter. The police reviewed surveillance footage along the route where the incident occurred, and the victim underwent a medical assessment. The local market’s sale of high-pressure water guns has been reported to the Municipal Bureau of Quality Supervision.

Ms. Huang emphasised the importance of personal safety during water-splashing activities, advising participants to protect themselves by wearing goggles and other appropriate safety gear. The staff at the Gaozhuang Xishuangjing Scenic Area reiterated that the use of high-pressure water guns for water splashing is strictly prohibited. Public announcements and patrols by police officers and security personnel are implemented within the area.

In fact, the Central Guidance Commission on Building Spiritual Civilisation at Xishuangbanna previously issued a “Proposal for Civilised Water-Splashing,” which explicitly prohibits the use of violent or vulgar methods during water-splashing activities. Additionally, it strictly forbids the use of high-pressure water guns, vehicles carrying water sources, water balloons, or any other potentially harmful means. The proposal also emphasises the importance of respecting vulnerable individuals such as the elderly, disabled, pregnant women, infants, and those engaged in official duties, urging participants not to splash water at them. Blocking or splashing water at vehicles is strictly prohibited to prevent traffic accidents.