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Injuries tarnish festival fireworks' sparkle

[ 2010-02-22 11:30]     字号 [] [] []  
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A man in his late 40s lost an eye after a fireworks accident last week, one of 380 pyrotechnics injuries reported in the capital during Spring Festival.

The man, from Shunyi district, was injured on Thursday night, a time when many Beijingers set off fireworks as a traditional way to welcome the "God of Wealth".

According to a Beijing municipal health bureau survey, the 380 fireworks-related injuries included 75 damaged eyes.

"Most accidents were caused by illegal fireworks, which did not have the producers' names and addresses," Zhang Jianshu, press officer with the health bureau, told METRO yesterday.

"The most dangerous item was an aerial shell that should have only been set off by professionals."

Tongren Hospital suggested the capital's citizens buy only fireworks with detailed instructions from licensed fireworks shops and called on people not to buy powerful fireworks, such as aerial shells.

The hospital urged people to keep their distance while lighting fireworks and cautioned against checking on fireworks that appear to have gone out, even if they sit dormant for a relatively long time.

The hospital also said, through a press release, that children should never be allowed to play with fireworks and suggested people wear a helmet for protection.

The advice also called on people to avoid using fireworks after consuming alcohol.

Despite the high toll this year, the number of injuries was actually 63 less than the 443 fireworks accidents reported in the same period last year, the health bureau said.

Zhang said fewer Beijing citizens lit fireworks during the Lunar New Year holiday this year and suggested that accounted for the smaller number of injuries.

In Haidian district, there was 40 percent less fireworks-related garbage this year compared to the same period in 2009, the Mirror Evening News reported on Thursday.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Injuries tarnish festival fireworks' sparkle

About the broadcaster:

Injuries tarnish festival fireworks' sparkle

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.