The Nation



Over170 injured ahead of New Year in Philippines

Manila (dpa) - More than 170 people have been injured from fireworks and stray bullets thus far in the holiday season in the Philippines, officials said Saturday.

The victims included a 14-year-old boy whose right hand had to be amputated and a 5-year-old boy who lost an index finger after setting off firecrackers, according to the Department of Health.

The department said it had recorded 164 injuries since December 21from the use of fireworks and one ingestion of gunpowder. Ten people were also hit by stray bullets from celebratory gunfire, according to police spokesman Chief Superintendent Reuben Sindac. Filipinos traditionally set off fireworks and some fire guns into the air in the belief that the noise would drive away bad luck and attract good luck in the coming year. A year ago, one boy was killed after being struck by a stray bullet while more than 400 were injured, according to health department and police records.

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