Philippine New Year celebrations leave hundreds injured

A man is wheeled into the emergency room after being injured in a firecracker explosion, Jaunary 1st 2014 in Manila, Philippines.
Image caption Many of the injuries were from firecracker explosions

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.

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