22 injured by fireworks, firecrackers in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 3 Jan) – The number of fireworks and firecracker-related injuries during the holiday revelries in Region 12 has increased to 22, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Friday.

Jenny Panizales, DOH-12 spokesperson, said the injury cases in the region increased significantly since the New Year’s Eve celebration based on reports submitted by local hospitals and rural health units as of Thursday night.

DOH-12 recorded 11 firecracker-related injuries in its surveillance from Dec. 21 to 31 and has mainly doubled in the last two days. The injury surveillance will end on Jan. 5.

Panizales said the total injuries so far is 8 percent or two cases lower than the 24 monitored in the same period last year.

“We’re hoping that no more cases will be added to the list until the end of our surveillance,” she said in a radio interview.

A report released by DOH-12 showed that South Cotabato province recorded the most number of injuries with 10, followed by North Cotabato with seven, Sarangani and this city with two each, and Sultan Kudarat with one.

It said the victims, mostly males aged seven to 46, mainly suffered blast injuries that did not require amputation.

But one of them was admitted in a hospital and three were referred to ophthalmologists due to eye injuries.

Panizales said six of the injuries were caused by homemade devices like “boga” or PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) cannon.

Three each were caused by kwitis or sky rocket, five star and homemade firecrackers; two each by piccolo and sparklers; and one each by triangle, pla-pla and fountain.

She said it appeared that some residents resorted to making their noise-making devices in the wake of the stricter regulation on the selling and use of firecrackers and fireworks.

Panizales said the recorded injuries showed even those classified as legal items are not safe and can cause harm if not handled properly.

She cited that case of a visitor from Davao City who suffered blast injuries due to the explosion of a fountain firework, which was listed as a legal device.

“We’re currently evaluating these cases so we can make adjustments with our next campaigns,” she said. (MindaNews)