Boy killed, 413 injured in New Year revelry


A Filipino is treated for firecracker injuries at the East Avenue Medical Center in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday Jan. 1, 2013. Despite a ban by authorities on certain firecrackers due to injuries and death, many Filipinos still welcome the New Year with fireworks in the belief that it will drive away evil spirits and bring in good luck. AP/Aaron Favila

MANIILA, Philippines—Celebratory gunfire killed a four-year-old boy and more than 400 others were injured by powerful firecrackers in typically rowdy New Year celebrations in Metro Manila, officials said Tuesday.

As of 6 a.m. Tuesday, a total of 413 cases of firecracker-related injuries have been recorded, the Department of Health said. The figures were based on hospital records from December 21 to January 1.

About half of the victims were children, aged six to 10 years old, said Health Secretary Enrique Ona.

But Ona  noted a 17 percent decline in the number of people injured by firecrackers and stray bullets compared with the previous year.

In Mandaluyong City, a boy died after a bullet hit him in the back as he was playing outside his home, said Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina of the National Capital Region Police Office.

Espina said police launched an investigation to trace the gun owner but admitted it may take time in a country where unlicensed firearms are widespread.

Seven others were hit by stray bullets, including seven-year-old Stephanie Nicole Ella, who was in a “very critical condition,” said Ona.

Most injuries were due to fireworks with a total of 404 cases, eight from stray bullets and one from fireworks ingestion, he said.

Ona said that of the total number of injured people, 219 cases were due to prohibited firecrackers, with the infamous piccolo topping the list at 148.

In Valenzuela City, the leg of a 17-year-old male had to amputated after sustaining blast injuries due to the deadly firecracker Goodbye Philippines.

Nonetheless, the record, Ona said, was 17 percent lower compared to the same period last year with 498 fireworks-related injuries (476 from fireworks, 18 from stray bullets and four from fireworks ingestion).

Ona attributed the decline to a larger number of New Year countdown parties in different parts of Metro Manila, as well as Dr. Eric Tayag’s “Gangnam Style” dance campaign against firecrackers.

“Baka nga successful iyong ‘Gangnam’ dance ni Eric . . . Pwede ulitin natin iyon next year. Maghanap naman tayo ng ibang style,” Ona said.

Meanwhile, the fire department said 12 blazes were reported overnight, including a school that caught fire due to fireworks near a sprawling slum area in Manila.

No one was injured in the fires although dozens of families were left homeless, the fire department center said.

It is a tradition in the mostly Catholic nation of about 100 million to greet the New Year by making noise, in a belief it will drive bad spirits away. With Agence France-Presse

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  • charles

    these dickheads in the Metro never learn…. I’ve never seen or heard anyone pop up any fireworks in Davao for the last ten years, and New Year’s Eve was always so fresh and peaceful here..

  • $5699914

    Iyan ang kayabangan na matatawag!

    Kapos sa pambili ng pagkain at pantustos sa maayos na pag-aaral ng mga anak PERO may pera pambili ng pang-toma at paputok!!!

    At marami pa, nasa utak yata ang paa dahil alam naman na bawal magpaputok ng baril, sige pa rin ng sige, bahala na ang tamaan!!!

    Puro yabang! Puro pasikat! Puro kagaguhan ang alam!
    Tapos ang kakapal ng mga mukha na humingi ng ng kung anu-ano mula sa gobyerno, samantalang heto at ni-hindi alam kung papaano hawakan ang nalalabi na hawak na biyaya!
    Mga hangal!

  • caloyski65

    its more fun in the Philippines……what a way to celebrate new years eve…hope that guy who fire that gun would BURN IN HELL

  • dodong1

    yan ang isa sa mga nakaugalian na dapat baguhin…talagang maraming hindi marunong makinig o matuto sa mga nakikita sa television pag dating sa nasasaktan o namamatay dahil sa paputok o sa pag gamit ng baril tuwing pasko o bagong taon…

  • dodong1


  • doctor_mengele

    People that get wounded by firecrackers are indeed idiots. They should pay for the medical perwisyo they give even at the Government hospitals. Most of them are drunk or high on drugs, feeling macho, wanting to “out do” their neighbor in this wasteful show of Machoism. 
    They don’t have food on the table, but they have money to buy fireworks, booze, drugs and cigarettes. Doesnt make sense.
    How ever, those who are hit by stray bullets, deserve justice. We all know where those stupid bullets come from.
    They mostly come from the congested areas, mostly filled with informal settlers or super high density populated areas. 
    Why? because if the person lived in a house that was spacious, i think he would have the sense to point the gun to the ground and discharge it into the soil. Diba?
    However, in those areas with a lot of people, you have the neighborhood toughies and idiot policemen and military types, or just plain criminals, that want to show their manhood, by shooting their pistols up in the air, reminicent of how the rebels celebrated when they overthrew Khadaffi in Libya, by shooting their assault rifles into the air. 
    You see, in those hign density population areas, there is not space that you can shoot your weapon to. The bullets will ricochet of the concrete and hit someone close to them. So these idiots think that they are doing it safe by shooting in the air.
    Damned this people. There are children that get hit, and for what? For enjoyment?
    These people should be castrated in public for all the world to see. People like these do not deserve to exist in any society.

    • Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

      perhaps the good doctor Josef would like to use these people for his…medical research *ahem

  • hennagaijin

    Firecrackers ????   You cannot be serious.  What pinoys call ‘ fireworks ‘, we call  I E D s –
    used by insurgents like the Taliban to destroy armored vehicles and buildings. Fireworks
    named Atomic Bomb or Bin Laden pretty much says it all. And used to drive away spirits ???
    Yeah, I thought Pilipinas was Catholic too. Ngayon alam ko.

    • Pitbulldog

      Kaya nga malalaki dapat ang paputok para di lang ma-drive ang bad spirit, kundi pati kaluluwa ng bad spirit ay di na mahagilap si Satanas kaylanman.  Gets u?

  • panhase

    A 9mm bullet shot in the air with a handgun will fall down and hit the ground with a speed of about 350 km per hour. That is slower then the speed when the bullet leaves the gun but still enough energy to penetrate any skull.
    Security officers should know this. It´s their job to know that. If fire their guns for celebration, then they are not qualified for the job.

  • Homer Guo

    walang kadala dala. hindi matuto sa karanasan ng iba at gusto pang maranasan mismo ang maputukan. nandadamay pa ng iba.

  • $53950194

    those victims are the exact mirror of being irresponsible to themselves, they cant look after other people as much as themselves!  

  • Jonathan George

    Say NO to Firecrackers!

  • cute79

    talagang di natututo ang pinoy.dapat ikulong at pagmultahin ng 1milyon ang mahuling magbenta ng pinagbabawal na paputok.ang bumili ng paputok na pinagbabawal ay pagmultahin rin at ikulong .

  • JV7797

    Hirap sa mga may baril titigas ng ulo…mga walang malay at musmos na bata karaniwan biktima. Total ban not only on firecrackers but buying of guns. Sana ma-karma yun mga nagpaputok ng baril.

  • filosopotasyo

    “It is a tradition in the mostly Catholic nation of about 100 million to greet the New Year by making noise, in a belief it will drive bad spirits away.”
    kung eto ang dahilan kung bakit ito ginagawa ng mga tao, hindi dahil para magsaya lamang eh may malaking responsibilidad dito ang mga pari na akayin ang kanilang tupa sa katotohanan. Ano kaya ang katuruan ng simbahan tungkol sa masasamang ispiritu at bakit ang mga tao ay hindi matuto, taon taon na lang ay ginagawa nila itong sobrang putukan na ito???

    • Blue01

      “It is a tradition in the mostly Catholic nation of about 100 million to greet the New Year by making noise, in a belief it will drive bad spirits away.”
      saan mo naman nabasa ito? Elemenatry pa lang alam ko na na ang fireworks ay galing sa mga chinese. At sila ang unang gumamit ng fireworks pag salubong sa lunar new year. At hindi rin katolilko lang ang sumasalubong ng new year na gummagamit ng paputok.

      Kaya mali advice mo.

      • filosopotasyo

        uk wrote: “saan mo naman nabasa ito?”


  • ceejay2420

    Rather than oppose the reproductive health law that will bring down population and poverty in our country, the Catholic Church, with all the bishops, priests , laymen and allied organizations, should instead focus its attention and resources in putting a stop to this Pinoy practice and useless tradition of lighting firecrackers. It was never effective driving bad spirits nor in bringing good luck. What it brings instead annually are hundreds of people injured and a couple of fatalities and carbon monoxide enveloping skies in major cities for days. 

    This old age custom generate only a limited temporary employment.The basic raw materials are imported  and therefore it drains our dollar reserve. The major beneficiaries are the police authorities who have total disregard of the safety of  our people.They sucked the manufacturers for protection money.   

    • filosopotasyo

      they make so much noise about the RH Bill but I can hardly hear anything from them about the moral decay in the Philippine society…look around – in showbiz, politics, people and places around – moral decay is everywhere….if we have what we call cancer to the society, we also have what I call cancer to the soul.. 

  • Jerry

    Bakit hindi ma-ban ang paggamit ng patutok sa New Year if nakakadulot ito ng polusyon, sakit sa baga, injury na mapuputukan, at iba pa.  Dahil lang ba sa belief na nagpapaalis ng masamang espiritu. This is BS.  Hellow, yong mga masasamang espiritu pa nga ang nangungunang magpaputuk. 

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