Somerset

Bruton man hit in face with firework calls for ban

Aksel's injured eye a year later
Image caption Aksel was injured when a firework exploded in his face

A man who lost his sight in one eye after a firework exploded next to him has called for them to be banned.

Aksel, from Bruton in Somerset, was at a display when a lit firework exploded and sent phosphorous into his eye.

He said they should either be banned or their sales should be more "intensively regulated".

Fireworks are regulated by the government and local authorities, with legislation in place to control their sale, use and misuse.

A government spokeswoman said there were no current plans to change the law.

'Devastating injuries'

Aksel has had 10 operations on his eye and was one of 1,900 people taken to hospital with injuries from April 2018 until March 2019.

Bristol eye surgeon Kieren Darcy said the number of "devastating eye injuries" caused by fireworks had increased in recent years.

He said they fell into two categories - either from a direct hit or blast-type injuries.

"The eye is a fluid-filled ball so the shockwave from an exploding firework can cause it to pop like a balloon," he said.

Aksel said the sensation of being hit in November 2018 was like a "slap" in the face, and it "wouldn't stop burning".

"I could feel it covering my eyeball and I could feel the flesh there had slightly melted ....but I didn't know how bad it was," he added.

"They're basically explosives you can buy over a shop counter."

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