Rains, gov’t restrictions cut firecracker-related incidents

January 01, 2019

GOVERNMENT strict restrictions on the use of illegal firecrackers and the rainy weather brought by Typhoon Usman resulted in less firecracker injuries and fire incidents during the New Year revelry.

The Bureau of Fire Protection–National Capital Region (BFP-NCR)  recorded only six fire incidents while the Department of Health recorded 139 firecracker injuries, a huge drop from 428 cases last year.

BFP-NCR director Chief Supt. Roel Jeremy Diaz said the six fire incidents covered only from 12 midnight onwards yesterday. Of the number, two were recorded in Manila, while Caloocan, Navotas, Paranaque and Pasig had one each.

In the Pasig fire, a-60 year-old woman was killed after she was trapped inside their burning house located at the corner of Taniman Avenue and Bayabas Street, in Napico, Manggahan. Five members of her family were injured in a fire caused by electric short circuit due to overloading.

Pasig City Fire Marshal Superintendent Aristotle Banaga identified the casualty as Josephina Araniadar. She died due to smoke inhalation or severe suffocation. The injured victims were Jassi Maria Araniadar, Jessica, 33, and minors Xandrea Valenton, 11, her sister Sophia, 7, and her one-year-old brother Ruel. They are still confine at the Pasig City General Hospital and Misson Hospital due to suffocation.

Diaz said the elder Araniadar was believed to be soundly asleep when the fire struck at around 3:35 a.m.

Diaz said all of this year’s six fire incidents were not firecracker-related compared to last year’s eight fires.

The DoH said the 139 firecracker injuries were 68 percent lesser from 428 of the same period last year.

In a press conference held at the East Avenue Medical Center, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said the number was the lowest in firecracker-related injuries in the last five years.

He said President Duterte’s executive order regulating the use of firecrackers largely contributed to the reduction, but Typhoon Usman also kept several areas drench because of non-stop rains.

“Kwitis” or rocket was the top cause of injuries with 30 cases, followed by PVC cannon or “boga” with 16 injured, Piccolo with 15 and luces (sparkles) with eight.

Majority of the injuries were recorded in the National Capital Region (NCR) with 53; Western Visayas with 26, and Central Visayas with 13; Central Luzon and Calabarzon each reported 13 firecracker-related injuries.

Duque also said that no stray bullet injury or death was reported.  He clarified that “stray bullets” in the DoH’s perspective were shot in an upward trajectory not horizontal. With Arlene Rivera