New Year celebrations kill two, injure many in Philippines

New Year celebrations with fireworks and guns kill two and injure hundreds in Philippines

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Local residents try to extinguish a huge fire that razed a slum in Manila on January 1, 2016

Philippine authorities said on Friday that stray bullets and exploding firecrackers killed two and injured hundreds amid traditional New Year celebrations.

Health Secretary Janette Garin told reporters that a heavily drunk man died after he faced a giant firecracker namely “Goodbye Philippines.”

She said the man died at the hospital adding "His jaw was shattered. He was so intoxicated he hugged the Goodbye Philippines."

Eighty percent of the country's 100 million people are Catholic, but Filipino superstition dictates making ear-shattering noises during New Year's Eve to ward off bad luck.

People set off fireworks and shoot guns into the air to celebrate the December festive season.

According to health department, at least 380 injures due to fireworks and four other people died from bullets.

An eight-year-old boy's three fingers were amputated after fireworks exploded in his hands in northern farming province of Nueva Vizcaya.

In a Manila shantytown, a lit firecracker started a slum inferno, which quickly spread, fire bureau spokesman Renato Marcial told AFP.

An officer told that the fire destroyed a cramped maze of wood and cardboard huts that left at least 3,000 people homeless.

People, many of whom were drunk from a night of partying, desperately tried to put the fire out with buckets of water and eventually left their burning residents carrying their clothes and furniture along, 

A 65-year-old woman died from a heart attack as she watched her house burned down, an officer said.

In total, 384 people injured in 2015, where the number in 2014 was 354.

TRTWorld and agencies