Kids airlifted to hospital following blaze
SEVERAL children who suffered serious burn injuries in an accidental fire in west Cork have been airlifted to hospital.
The incident, which took place in the Drinagh area of west Cork, occurred around 6pm.
The circumstances of the incident remain unclear but it is understood a total of three children were injured.
The youngsters are believed to be aged between one and 10 years.
One suffered what are described as severe three degree burn injuries.
Local reports indicated that the injuries were sustained in either an accidental fire or some type of gas explosion though emergency services are still trying to determine what happened.
Such was the serious nature of the incident that medics decided the children needed to be transferred to hospital by helicopter rather than by ambulance.
The Irish Coastguard's Shannon-based Rescue 115 was diverted to the area and, to speed the transfer process, it landed on a field adjacent to where the youngsters were injured.
A match was underway on Drinagh sports pitch and officials had offered to suspend the game and clear the grounds to allow the helicopter to land.
However, the field was preferred as a landing spot given that it offered a faster transfer.
The three children were airlifted to Cork University Hospital (CUH) for assessment and emergency treatment.
A decision will then be made as to whether they need to be transferred to the specialist burns unit in Dublin.
Gardaí, fire brigade member and neighbours assisted with the rescue operation.