9-year-old girl in Bulacan dies after being hit by stray bullet
A 9-year-old girl in Bulacan was the first casualty due to indiscriminate firing ahead of the New Year revelry, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Tuesday.
DOH said the girl was playing near Ipo Dam when she was hit by a stray bullet in the back on Christmas Eve. The girl went home and was seen by her parents bleeding.
The minor was rushed to the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City where she underwent surgery, but eventually died on Christmas day.
“We strongly condemn the loss of life of an innocent child. This should have not happened if only gun owners are responsible. There are many ways to celebrate the holidays and firing guns indiscriminately is definitely not an option,” said Health Secretary Janette Garin in a statement.
DOH said the number of firecracker-related injuries in the country reached 131 from Dec. 21 to 29—128 from fireworks/firecrackers, 3 from stray bullets, and no case of fireworks/firecrackers ingestion so far. Most cases were reported in the National Capital Region—18 in Manila, 15 in Quezon City, and 8 in Mandaluyong.
The health department added that piccolo remained to be the primary cause of firecracker-related injuries in the country, comprising 76 percent of recorded cases. Other reported injuries were from five-star (4 percent), kwitis (2 percent), sparkler (2 percent), and unknown firecrackers (6 percent).
Garin reiterated her call to the public to use safer alternatives in welcoming 2016, such as “torotot,” musical instruments, car horns, and loud music.
“The only countdown that should be monitored this year is the remaining days until we celebrate the New Year, and not the number of injuries and deaths of innocent people. Let us have a healthy, safe, and prosperous New Year,” Garin said.
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