Deaths and injuries mar New Year celebrations in Philippines

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 January, 2014, 11:45pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 January, 2014, 11:45pm


At least two people were killed and nearly 600 injured by fireworks and gunfire in New Year celebrations in the Philippines, officials said yesterday.

About 50 hospitals nationwide reported 599 people were injured between December 21 and January 1, a 43 per cent jump from the same period last year, said Department of Health spokesman Dr Eric Tayag.

He said he expected the number of injured to rise as the Health Department continues its count.

In northern Cagayan province, a fireworks fountain display packed with firecrackers exploded and killed a 19-year-old man, while an infant boy was killed by a bullet that went through the roof of the family's house in northern Ilocos Sur province.

Doctors in nearby Ilocos Norte province said another boy was fighting for his life after being hit in the forehead by a bullet that remained lodged in his head.

The deaths and injuries came at the end of a year where several disasters hit the Philippines, including Super Typhoon Haiyan, locally called Yolanda, which struck in November and left more than 6,100 people dead and nearly 1,800 others missing.