Surge noted in fireworks grade, nuisance, victims

More than 80,000 complaints about fireworks disturbance have been lodged at the special hotline around year-end.


A bus stop in Harderwijk fell victim to year-end vandalism

New Year’s Day 2014 alone saw a record number of 5,000 complaints. And there is a likely correlation between the grade of fireworks that was sold, the disturbance and the victims. 

GroenLinks faction leader Arno Bonte , one of the initiators of the hotline said there was a slight increase over the 2012/2013 year end period. Most complaints regarded fireworks damage. Amsterdam took the lead. 

But there were also numerous physical injuries reported, as well as one fatal fireworks accident. Of two men –one in Zutphen and one in Rotterdam, their hands were blown off by firworks. In Zutphen it regarded a 34-year-old man; bystanders gave first aid until the ambulance arrived. Children who witnessed the fireworks exploding in the man’s palm are receiving guidance, police have said. In Rotterdam the victim was a 47 year old man.

In Spijkenisse a father and a son got injured when fireworks went off prematurely and in Vlaardingen a container exploded, sending shrapnel into the arms and legs of someone standing nearby. Police suspect the container was filled with major grade fireworks. A spokesperson said that abuse of heavy fireworks was the cause in most of the accidents that have been reported throughout the country.

Newsreports say that hospital report an increase in fireworks patients. Novum reports that 16 hospitals in the country’s largest cities tallied 380 victims around the turn of the year, 125 of whom suffered fireworks related injuries. The rest were people who were admitted after excessive alcohol and drug use and victims of fights.

Amsterdam’s Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis hospital treated 60 patients, five of whom were fireworks related and 30 regarding substance abuse. The Lucas Andreas hospitak (Amsterdam) had 45 cases, 15 fireworks related.

Rotterdam’s Sint Francisus Gasthuis also treated dozens after fights and substance abuse, as well as three fireworks accident victims. Erasmus MC took in 10 people who were badly wounded by fireworks.

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