Rotterdam eye hospital treats 18 fireworks victims; busiest in years

The Eye Hospital in Rotterdam treated a total of 18 victims who sustained injuries to their eyes due to fireworks by 11:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve. According to the hospital, this was the busiest New Year's in years, NOS reports.

A total of 20 eyes were injured, including 10 that sustained permanent damage. None of the victims wore firework safety glasses, and most incidents involved legal fireworks. The youngest victim is 14 years old. The most other victims are in their 30s. 

Ophthalmologist Tjeerd de Faber called this remarkable. In the past, about half of the victims were under the age of 21, he said to NOS.

"We are unfortunately seeing a trend break. In recent years we have seen that eye damage around New Year's Eve gradually decreased. I have not experienced something like this in eight years," De Faber said. 

He thinks the increase in injuries is connected to the dry weather. As a result, many people were outside lighting fireworks.