20 injured by firecrackers in South Cotabato, GenSan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/26 December) — A 43-year-old man lost a finger while 19 others, mostly children, sustained various firecracker injuries in connection with the Christmas revelries in this city and parts of South Cotabato province.

The South Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) recorded a total of 16 firecracker-related injuries while the City Health Office (CHO) here listed four cases that mostly happened in the run-up to and during the Christmas Eve celebrations in the area.

Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr., IPHO chief, said Friday a resident of Surallah town sustained serious hand injuries that required the amputation of a finger due to the accidental explosion of the banned whistle bomb firecracker.

He said the 15 other injury cases involved piccolo that is also a prohibited firecracker but remained popular among users, especially children.

The official said the youngest victim was a four-year-old boy who sustained hand and finger injuries due to piccolo explosion.

He said the municipality of Tupi post the most number of firecracker-related injuries with nine followed by Koronadal City with four.

“We’re appealing to our residents to take this matter seriously and shun from using firecrackers because the injury risks are quite high,” Aturdido said in a radio interview.

As of December 23, the IPHO only recorded two injury cases due to firecracker explosions in the area.

Two young boys from Tupi sustained finger and hand injuries due to separate explosions involving piccolo.

It said the first case, which was recorded last Nov. 30, involved a 12-year-old boy who was treated at the rural health unit of Tupi.

The second victim was a seven year-old boy who was brought to a local hospital for treatment last Dec. 7.

In this city, a 54-year-old man identified as Reynaldo Decena, a resident of Barangay San Isidro, was listed as the area’s first firecracker victim on Christmas Eve.

Decena was rushed to the city hospital here on Wednesday after sustaining minor injury due to the explosion of super lolo firecracker.

Another victim, 43-year-old George Calve of Barangay Saway in Labangal was treated for minor leg injuries from a still undetermined firecracker.

On Thursday, the CHO said two other victims — Kenneth Cajes and Joshua Luciano, both 10-years-old — were also treated at the city hospital.

Cajes sustained hand injuries due to piccolo explosion while Luciano was hit on the eye by a boga or PVC cannon. (MindaNews)