Dozens hurt by fireworks over New Year's

Fireworks in Amsterdam Oost, 31 Dec 2017
Fireworks in Amsterdam Oost, 31 Dec 2017Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times

New Year's celebrations with fireworks in the Netherlands generally go hand-in-hand with dozens of firework related injuries, and this year was no exception. The Eye Hospital in Rotterdam already admitted eight people with a total of 10 injured eyes. And dozens of people were admitted to hospital with burns and other firework related injuries.

Six of the eight people admitted to the Eye Hospital sustained permanent damage, the hospital said to RTL Nieuws. The victims sustained reduced vision, blindness, and some of the eyes may have to be removed. Three of the victims were bystanders who got hit by flying fireworks. The hospital expects this number will increase in the coming days as more victims are referred to them. 

Ophthalmologist Tjeerd de Faber told RTL that the severity of the injuries is the same as in previous years. "That's why this New Year's also shows that we have to stop with consumer fireworks', he said to the broadcaster. "My entire career is devoted to improving people's vision. Sometimes several surgeries are needed to give the patient a few percent more vision. With just one blow a piece of fireworks can blind an eye at once."

The emergency rooms in Amsterdam had a busy night, but not busier than previous New Years, according to AT5. Only VUmc was busier during the turn of the year than usual. The hospital treated 40 patients, including 9 people who needed emergency treatment. Eight people were treated for eye injuries, some others because of alcohol or drugs use. The OLVG called said it was "fairly busy", but that the night was comparable to previous years. The AMC reports the same, though added that it treated fewer fireworks injuries. 

The Burns Center Groningen had 30 people come in with fireworks injuries over New Year's, RTV Noord reports. 24 of them had to get immediate treatment. The Martini Hospital treated three fireworks victims in its emergency room. The University Medical Center Groningen treated five people with fireworks injuries, including two with eye injuries. 

The Medisch Spectrum Twente treated seven people with fireworks injuries, five of whom were seriously injured, Tubantia reports. Four of these victims were transferred to the specialized Martini Hospital in Groningen. One of the victims was a minor. 

Eleven people were treated for fireworks injuries in Almelo, including six children. Doctors treated serious eye damage, a finger amputation, and head and burn wounds. Three patients had to be sent to Groningen for more specialized care. 

The emergency room of the Gelre Hospital in Apeldoorn treated 5 people with fireworks injuries to their hands, face, eyes or back, De Stentor reports. All patients has since been discharged from hospital, though one with a serious injury to his hand will undergo surgery on Tuesday. The Gelre Hospital in Zutphen treated one fireworks injury. 

In Habrinkhoek, Overijssel four boys aged 15 and 16 sustained injuries to their faces, according to In Schilderswijk, Den Haag a RTL Nieuws cameraman sustained hearing damage when someone pelted him with fireworks. 

On Saturday a 39-year-old man was killed in Sifterbant, Flevoland in front of at least one of his children when fireworks he was handling exploded. 


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