Firework's Aftermath - Injuries Blamed on Pyrotechnics
Kompas.com says that 13 people were rushed to Bali's Sanglah General Hospital (RSUP) on New Year's Eve as the results of injuries sustained from fireworks and firecrackers. Similarly in Gianyar and Tabanan, an unspecified number of injuries were linked to the celebratory explosives.
Of the 13 people treated at RSUP three were warded in the intensive care section due to the extent of their injuries.
Meanwhile, several fires are being linked to the almost continuous barrage of fireworks over the New Year's weekend period.
The State news agency Antara reports that a Villa located at Block 57 of the Bali Nirwana Estate, near Tanah Lot, burnt down after its thatched rood was set afire by fireworks. The luxury villa was rented by a Russian tourist at the time of the fire. The renter was not injured in the incident. Two fire trucks responded to the alarm, managing to extinguish the flames in two hours but only after "billions" of rupiahs of damage was sustained.
A two-storey resident in the North Kuta community of Dalung also burnt down late on New Year's eve. The home, located in the Dalung Permai sub-division, was completely consumed by the fire which fortunately did not spread to adjoining residences. That fire is blamed on an unattended candle used to light a first floor room while family members were distracted on the second floor, enjoying the non-stop firework display.
Busy Emergency Room at Sanglah Hospital
Kompas.com recorded 150 patients treated at the emergency room of the Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar over the transitional night between 2010 and 2011.
Most of the patients treated were from traffic mishaps, with four of the patients failing to welcome in the New Year after fatally succumbing to their injuries. Two young women, Irma Febrian (21) and Ni Ketut Suwastini (20) were pronounced dead on arrival after being involved in traffic accidents in Denpasar. Two more fatalities were recorded when Hafif Kurniawan (21) and I Komang Sastrawan (21) died on Saturday New Year's morning after undergoing emergency surgery at RSUP.
In the festive ignition of "illegal" fireworks estimated to have cost "billions of rupiahs," related injuries were also reported at hospitals across Bali. The largest numbers of casualties were recorded in Denpasar, Jimbaran, Klungkung, Kuta, Gianyar and Tabanan. Doctors report that most injuries involved wounds to the hands, eyes and lips, with one patient reported to have nearly lost a hand. Totok Sriwahyudi (34) of Jalan Hayum Wuruk in Denpasar suffered significant injuries when a firework ignited in his hand. Another man, Kusuma Wardana of Puri Kesiman lost much of the skin on his hand in a similar incident.
Other firework misadventures include a burnt kitchen in Banjar Pabean and numerous injuries affecting teenagers and children, some as young as two years of age.
The unprecedented level of fireworks exploded in Bali this year resulted in a dramatic increase in related injuries treated at local hospitals. At the RSUP alone the number of firework-related injuries this year increased to 13 from only 5 recorded one year ago.
Some observers speculate that the high number of injuries over the New Year period may have been mitigated to some extent due to heavy rains throughout the night that kept many revelers at home.
Confusion at Bali’s Airport
The non-stop barrage of explosions and pyrotechnics not only sent small children and pets into fits of terror, but also became something of a hazard to civil aviation. The fireworks, exploding at a frenzied peak from 11:30 pm on December 31, 2010 until 15 minutes past midnight, prompted some inbound flights for Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport to fly an off-shore holding pattern, well-clear of the “bombs bursting in air” before hazarding a landing. Bali Post suggested a number of flights were reluctant to penetrate the wall of exploding fireworks soaring skywards in all directions including close proximity to the approaches to the busy airport.
More Control Needed?
Injuries and the general sense of unease created by the expensive explosion or so many pyrotechnics has at least one local observer, Dr. I Nyoman Darma Putra, a professor of literature at Bali’s Udayana University urged that, in the future, fireworks be limited to a specific time period of 30-minutes during the changeover from one year to the next. Putra said the almost constant explosion of fireworks from before Christmas day until after New Year's day has the potential of sparking social unrest if angry and frustrated people decide to take matter into their own hands and stop the noise disturbing sleep, the aged, sick and babies.
Flooding in the North
New Year's Eve also brought further destruction to the Bali region on Buleleng where a flash flood is blamed for the death of two in Titab village in the Busungbiu district. Kadek Yudi Eka Setiawan (30) and Ketut Sepiran (60) perished when the two men ignored warnings and tried to cross a bridge damaged by flooding.
The dead body of Setiawan was later recovered downstream, washed up in a rice fields. The whereabouts of Sepiran remain a mystery.
Antara states that heavy rains in Bali's north over the New Year's period destroyed four home in Banjar Subuk due to landslides while flooding severely damaged tens of homes in the village of Pengastulan, Seririt.
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