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Three teenagers suffer horrific burns in 'mistaken identity' acid attack

Injured Tega Agberhiere recovering in hospital with burns caused by acid being hurled in his face in a case of mistaken identity (Image: "" <>)

Three teenagers suffered horrific burns in a 'mistaken identity' acid attack - leaving one fighting to save his eyesight.

The promising sports stars, who are all 17 and from Ireland, were reportedly targeted by another youth at around 11pm in Waterford last Thursday.

It emerged yesterday one of a four-strong gang of thugs threw acid at them following an earlier row with a different teenager – but targeted the wrong group.

The victims include soccer ace Tega Agberhiere, who played for Ireland’s U16s and has had trials with Tottenham and Crystal Palace , reports the Irish Mirror

Doctors at University Hospital Waterford are battling to save his sight after what is thought to be the first acid attack on teens in Ireland.

His devastated mum Christy last night told the Irish Mirror: “He is alive, thank God. They threw it on to the face. He is in the hospital.

“He is bad but they are doing work on him and he is getting better.

Injured Tega Agberhiere, who played under 16s and has had trials with Tottenham and Crystal Palace, in hospital with acid burns

“He is supposed to have one of his exams on Wednesday, practical for Construction Studies, and he is missing that now.

“Emotionally he is down because he is so worried about his school and his position with Waterford U17s.”

Irish-born Tega, Padraig Sullivan and a third friend were targeted in Waterford city.

Padraig suffered severe burns to his thigh while his other pal has painful wounds on his back.

They will need skin graft surgery when doctors manage to remove the acid from their skin.

Padraig’s dad Patrick said his hurler son, who has played for his county, is in shock.

He added: “He has a big burn on his thigh and that burnt all the nerves away and it’s after blocking off the veins, so we have to wait three weeks for that to come back to life.

“And when that comes back to life then they’ll do the skin graft.

“My lad was playing hurling for Waterford.

“The doctor said if the muscle is damaged it might be the end of his hurling career, so we are just waiting on proper results back to see.”

Patrick described the horror when he first saw his son.

He said: “I looked at his pants and it was like he was after walking through a bonfire.

“He was in so much shock, he couldn’t really feel the pain until he got to the hospital.

“It’s new for them [hospital staff] because we didn’t have the name of what acid it was and every time they washed it the acid kept activating.

“Each one of them had to get each cut washed for over 12 hours. Every time you think it’s washed the acid kept reactivating itself and started burning again.

“It’s deadly stuff, it takes 18 to 20 hours to get acid fully washed away.

“He was kept in overnight to get it washed every half hour and then the next morning he was brought at 6am to Cork Hospital by ambulance and they proceeded with washes again.

“They had to send the results to Dublin and wait for answers back to see if we could skin graft it straight away.

“Dublin sent back word no, to go home and keep showering it.

“He’s out of hospital now but we’ve to bring him back to Cork hospital every week for three weeks to get it checked and changed and once it comes back to life they can operate.”

Patrick said the gang behind the attack were looking for a black youth with whom they had an earlier row.

He added: “They just thought because he [Tega] was black that was him and it wasn’t.

“It was the wrong lad they attacked and my son happened to be standing with him and took the lash with him.

“One didn’t have his face covered but the rest had balaclavas.

“They were out to do damage. The guards actually went to the young fella they were looking for and said, ‘Why were they shouting your name?’

Tega is a promising footballer who has had trials for Tottenham and Crystal Palace (Image: "" <>)

“And he named one young fella then that he was arguing with that day and then they went and arrested that fella and found out through him who the other three were. There’s four lads arrested.

“They’ve been released without charge and their case has gone to the DPP.

“From what we know now, we think just one lad was over 18. We are waiting to get the exact names.”

Christy told how Tega fears he will miss the soccer season and asked: “When I go back to school will I be OK, will my face be OK?”

She said: “So as a mother what can I do, I just keep encouraging him.”

Christy doesn’t know how long Tega will stay in hospital as he is waiting see a specialist.

Gardai appealed for witnesses over the attack and have asked anyone with information to contact officers on 051 305300.

Via Mirror

My view: Why are some people so wicked?. This is plain evil, I hope the thugs are locked up for a very long time.

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