Home / International / News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
2 Filipinos killed in New Year celebration
Adjust font size:

At least two people were killed and more than 300 others injured, some of them caused by celebratory gunfire, during the New Year celebration in the Philippines, reports said on Thursday.

Local radio reports named the fatalities as Renato Quetolonia, 19 and Pastor Arpon, 73.

Quetolonia, who was believed to be drunk, picked up a large firecracker that exploded on his face before midnight in Manila. He was rushed to a local hospital where he died.

Meanwhile, Arpon succumbed to asthma attack caused by thick smoke generated by lighted firecrackers and fireworks. He died at a local clinic.

The Department of Health said that 346 have been injured in celebration-related accidents since Dec. 21, 2008.

In Metro Manila alone, there were over 160 people injured, according to local police chief Leopoldo Bataoil. Six of the victims were caused by stray bullets.

However, the police chief said that the number of injuries during the celebration is relatively low compared to previous years.

In advance of the New Year, especially on Dec. 31, Filipinos set off firecrackers in the belief that the noise will drive away evil spirits and bring them good luck for the next year. Some also fire guns in the air at midnight.

Since last December, the authorities have launched a campaign to urge the citizens not to use firecrackers in the New Year celebration.

Francisco Duque, Health Secretary of the country, even resorted to a scare tactic, by brandishing a surgical saw on TV, to discourage the use of powerful firecrackers.

In the southern city of Davao, the mayor there warned that those who celebrate the New Year by lighting firecrackers will be put into prison.

The authorities also urge people to use horns and other noisemakers to celebrate New Year's Eve instead of firecrackers due to the large number of accidents caused by firecracker use.

(Xinhua News Agency January 1, 2009)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
- Twin blasts hit south Philippine malls
- 42 killed in Philippine ferry capsizal