Iran fire festival kills three, injures 259

Iran’s annual fire festival kills three people and injures 259 others, ahead of Persian New Year

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

An Iranian woman jumps over a bonfire in southern Tehran on March 19, 2013, during the Wednesday Fire feast, or Chaharshanbe Suri.

Three people were killed and 259 others were injured during Iran’s annual fire festival ahead of the Persian New Year, as warning were ignored, officials said on Wednesday.

Each year Iranians celebrate Chaharshanbeh-Soori, an ancient Zoroastrian tradition, by jumping over bonfires on the eve of the last Wednesday of the Iranian calendar.

Fearing being hurt on Chaharshanbeh-Soori, many Iranians prefer to stay indoors, when blasts and whistling explosives ring out across Tehran.

According to Amin Saberinia, head of Iran's Emergency Medical Service, the number of injuries decreased by half compared to 2014.

Death tolls have also decreased, in 2014 nine people were killed and in 2013 the numbers were 19.

Among the three who died on Tuesday night was a 45-year-old man who suffered a heart attack brought on by an explosion, a 24-year-old man and a teenager, Saberinia told officials.

A woman jumps over a fire during the Chaharshanbe Suri festival in Tehran, on March 17, 2009.

Fireworks and improvised explosives are used to mark the event, often resulting in severe injuries, a 14-year-old boy lost both hands and ended up in a coma.

Another victim was a three-year-old girl who lost her fingers.

Most of the injured were men, only 25 of 259 injured were women.

Many Iranian actors, artists and celebrities urged people to stick to the traditional fire-jumping and refrain from using fireworks ahead of the Nowruz celebration (New Year), which starts on March 20.



TRTWorld and agencies