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Twelve-year-old girl loses her vision from 4th of July firework accident

7/6/2011, 6:57 a.m.

LOS ANGELES, Calif.--A 12-year-old South Los Angeles girl who was hit the face with fireworks on the Fourth of July has lost vision in her right eye, a Children's Hospital Los Angeles spokesman said today.

The girl, identified by the hospital as Erika Rodriguez, was injured in the 600 block of West 42nd Place about 11 p.m. Monday, according to firefighters, who took the girl to the pediatric hospital at Sunset Boulevard and Vermont Avenue.

"The patient suffered a very severe injury to her right eye from a direct hit by an exploding firework that resulted in severe trauma to the eye," her surgeon, Dr. Thomas Lee, said. "We did surgery to remove the firework that was lodged in her eye socket. As a result of the injury, she unfortunately will be permanently blind in her right eye. She was fortunate that the left eye did not suffer any damage from the firework explosion."

It was unclear if a criminal investigation was being conducted in connection with the girl's injury.

Fire officials said someone lit a firecracker-like device near the girl's face.