8 New Year's revelers sustain firecracker injuries in Quezon

LUCENA CITY, Quezon, Philippines - Despite the massive government campaign against firecrackers, eight New Year's Eve revelers still sustained blast injuries in Quezon province, police said Thursday.

A report from the Quezon provincial police headquarters based in Camp Nakar here, a copy of which was sent to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, said six of the still unidentified victims - one in Catanuan and five in Candelaria towns - suffered slight injuries from "piccolo," an illegal firecracker.

"Piccolo" is a small firecracker on a stick lazed with gunpowder. It is ignited by just scratching its end against its box, much like a match.

In most cases, the firecracker exploded in the hands of the revelers before they could throw it away.

The Department of Health has identified the "piccolo" as the lead cause of firecracker-related injuries nationwide.

One reveler from Tayabas City also sustained minor injury from lighting up a "kwitis" (sparkler) while another merry maker in Sariaya got minor burns caused by a "fountain" firecracker, police said.

So far, there was no report of indiscriminate firing of firearms or stray bullet injury.

Policemen in different municipal stations have been posting photos and reports on their "Have a safe New Year's eve" campaign and the confiscation of illegal firecrackers on their respective Facebook pages for the past several days.