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20 Injured in New Year’s Celebrations

Posted January. 02, 2007 03:01,   


The area near the Bosin Belfry in Jongno-gu, Seoul, was swamped with disorder as its watch-night bell ushered in the New Year.

The Jongno district was mired with accidents and debris involving firecrackers. More than 20 citizens were injured and some were rushed to the hospital.

More than 100 thousand citizens gathered around the Jonggak Station. More than eight of ten people on the street lit firecrackers.

It was not unusual to spot whole families lighting firecrackers. Stand keepers in the area said that more than 90 percent of the sales came from firecrackers. They said that the firecracker was just about their only profitable item.

Citizens started light up their firecrackers at around 11:00 p.m. The firecracker lighting reached the climax around midnight, when smoke from tens of thousands of firecrackers covered the area.

This made it difficult for the elderly and children to breathe, forcing them to retreat from the streets and hold their breath. The ash from the firecrackers covered the streets and landed on people’s clothes.

Instead of shooting firecrackers straight up, some people shot them at an angle. The sparks injured some citizens. A woman was injured, when sparks and fire powder got into her eyes. She was given emergency treatment by the firefighters. Firecrackers injured 12 citizens. 21 citizens were hurt in all, and five received hospital treatment.