Footage has revealed the moment a Melbourne teenager was struck with an illegal flare in Federation Square on Sunday in an atmosphere described as unsafe by the victim.
Oakleigh South’s Samuel Rogan, 19, suffered third-degree burns when fans let off flares after the Socceroos scored in their match against Argentina, with one landing on his arm and leaving him in “shock” for up to a minute.
The video, provided to NCA NewsWire, shows a large crowd of soccer fans obscured by a deep red and orange smoke, before Mr Rogan rushes into the frame asking his friends for water.
“Water, water, water,” he says hurriedly in the video, holding his left arm awkwardly.
At the beginning of the video a man with his face and mouth covered dances up and down with a lit flare in his hand.
“Water, water, water,” Mr Rogan says again, visibly distressed.
Speaking to NCA NewsWire on Tuesday, Mr Rogan said the pain was “like something I’ve never experienced before”.
He was hospitalised on Sunday morning as a result of the burns and said he his left arm would be “out of action” for a month.
Mr Rogan said he also would not be able to allow natural sunlight to touch his left arm for the next three months – the entirety of the summer.
About 15,000 fans packed into the at-capacity Federation Square on Sunday to watch the Socceroos take on Argentina.
Victoria Police said officers were forced to use pepper spray when more fans continued to try to pile into the CBD venue.
Amid the chaotic scenes a 13-year-old boy was also pepper sprayed, which has been the subject of a formal Victoria Police complaint by the boy’s father.
“It happened right after Australia scored,” Mr Rogan said, the goal coming late in the second half.
“The flare came from behind me,” he said, adding it felt as though it was “lobbed”,
“When it first hit me it was like a numb shock.
“I’ve still got this burning pain now.”
Mr Rogan, who described the flare’s impact as a “bubbly burn”, said he had difficulty showering and struggled to sleep.
He was there with a group of eight friends, while a second friend also suffered third-degree burns after also being struck by a flare.
Mr Rogan said although the atmosphere was “like something I’ve never experienced before” and “pumping”, things got “out of control” – particularly once Australia scored.
Overall, he said it was “incredibly” unsafe.
“There were bottles flying everywhere, there was smashed glass on the ground,” Mr Rogan said.
Story Credit: news.com.au