Fireworks takes toll on people, animals

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iol news pic dog bite Independent Newspapers The new year literally began with a bang for revellers and animals who experienced the darker side of fireworks. Stock picture: David Ritchie

KwaZulu-Natal - The new year literally began with a bang for thousands of Durban revellers who enjoyed fireworks displays, but hospitals, the Kloof and Highway SPCA and metro police experienced the darker side of the pyrotechnics.

Metro police spokesman, Senior Superintendent Eugene Msomi, said 25 people were fined R200 each for the illegal use of fireworks.

“It was much quieter than last year. This could be due to the weather or more people complying with the city’s by-laws. Last year, 140 people were charged and fined,” he said.

Fireworks may only be used on New Year’s Eve from 11.45pm until 12.15am of the new year.

Hospitals contacted yesterday reported seven fireworks-related injuries, including one person who had two fingers amputated.

Two adults were treated at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Phoenix for fireworks related injuries.

One had two fingers amputated and was admitted overnight while the other was treated and discharged.

King Edward VIII Hospital reported five fireworks related injuries. Three adults and two children were treated for injuries to their fingers.

uMhlanga Hospital reported one incident.

A teenage boy was treated yesterday for burns to his hand. He was burnt as he tried to light a firecracker.

Spokeswoman for the Kloof and Highway SPCA, Janine Kyle, said this year’s celebrations had a bigger impact on animals than last year.

She said the organisation had received 53 animals on New Year’s Eve alone, compared to 109 animals during the entire week leading up to new year, last year.

“Inspectors were on duty throughout the night and the office was opened (yesterday) at 6am until 11.30am to try to admit the animals and re-unite lost pets with their owners. Seven animals were claimed.

The SPCA is open today from 8am until 4pm for owners to claim their lost pets.

The address is 29 Village Road, Kloof. For further information, call 031 764 1212.

Kyle appealed to pet owners to sedate their animals and keep them safe during the holidays when fireworks were more frequently used.

She also urged owners to ensure their pets have identification tags or micro-chips because their offices had rescued or received many animals that could not be identified. - Daily News


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