SOME 25 people, including 12 children, were injured when baby rockets commonly known as “kwitis” misfired during a community fireworks display in Barangay Calmay, Dagupan City in Pangasinan on New Year’s Eve while 22 persons, mostly minors, were reported hurt by firecrackers in Soccsksargen or Region 12.
All the injured were transported by boat across the Calmay river and rushed by ambulances of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to Region 1 Medical Center (R1MC) for treatment.
Calmay is one of the island barangay (villages) of Dagupan.
Twenty-four of the injured were admitted to R1MC as out-patients and one was hospitalized after doctors found blood coming out from one of his ears.
The victims were watching a fireworks display in their village when the baby rockets failed to shoot up but instead fired horizontally, hitting the crowd.
Before noon of Monday, 40 firecracker victims—10 of them victims of blast, burns, and amputation—from various parts of Pangasinan had been rushed to R1MC.
Meanwhile, 22 persons were injured in four provinces, five cities in Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarnagani and General Santos City) or Region 12, according to Jenny Ventura, focal person of “DOH Iwas Paputok” campaign.
Ventura said the figure is 12 percent lower than that of the same period last year.
Twelve of the victims were male minors from South Cotabato, while four each were from Sarangani and North Cotabato, and one each from Sultan Kudarat and General Santos City.
One of the victims, a minor had one of his toes amputated because of serious injury while four others sustained eye injuries from Piccolo, a banned firecracker.
Ventura said 15 of the victims were active firecrackers users while seven were hit by stray firecrackers.
The monitoring started on December 21 and will last until January 4.
Meanwhile, Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi announced that Cotabato City had zero firecracker-related injuries attributing it to a successful “Iwas paputok drive” that include the people’s cooperation and massive information campaign.
In New Year’s celebrations in the past, Cotabato City registered high incidence of firecracker related injuries during the Christmas and New Year’s revelry.
PNA AND JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL