Philippine New Year celebrations leave hundreds injured
- 1 January 2014
- From the section World
At least one person has been killed and nearly 600 others injured by New Year fireworks and gunfire in the Philippines, officials have said.
A baby was killed by a stray bullet, and a teenager is reported to have been killed by a firecracker display.
The Department of Health says the injuries are up 43% from last year, despite efforts to make the 2014 festivities safer than previous years.
Last year two children died, leading to calls for more gun controls.
The Philippines has a thriving black market in unlicensed guns. The tradition of firing guns into the air in celebration often results in injuries or even deaths.
The Department of Health has called for a total ban on private firecracker displays, instead advocating organised community events.
The deaths and injuries come at the end of a year in which several disasters have hit the Philippines, including a typhoon in November that left more than 6,000 people dead.