Tuesday, January 3, 2012

News Update Children among 739 victims of New Year-related accidents

Children are among the victims New Year-related accidents, the number of which may have gone down by 7 percent compared to last year but remains high at 739 and may go higher still as the Department of Health (DOH) receives more data, GMA News’ “24 Oras” reported Monday. According to the DOH, most injuries and deaths were caused by relighting or retrieving firecrackers that fizzled out, as in the case of John Vincent Gonzales, a nine-year old boy who died Jan. 1 after he supposedly gathered and played with gunpowder from unexploded firecrackers. In a separate “24 Oras” report, Gonzales died just outside his family’s sari-sari store in Nueva Ecija’s Cabanatuan City. Two of his playmates, 10-year-old Roel Pobre and nine-year-old Richard Rivas also sustained injuries from the same explosion that killed Gonzales. “Yung dyaryo po, nilagyan po ng luces, bigla po sumabog 'yung ‘Goodbye Philippines,’” said Gonzales’s playmate. “Inipon daw po ‘yung pulbura ng paputok, inano daw po sa lalagyanan ng fountain,” a neighbor added. Stray bullets hit the young and the innocent Stray bullets also contributed to the number of injuries and deaths in New Year-related revelries, hitting 22 people including two children and a senior citizen. According to another “24 Oras” report, one of the victims, seven-year-old Angelita Dela Cruz, was standing outside her family’s house in Binondo when a 9-mm bullet pierced her chest that killed her almost instantly. The girl’s mother, Cristina Dela Cruz, said that they still have no idea where the bullet came from. “Karamihan po kasi dito samin puro pulis, puro bagong pulis,” she said. In tears, Angelita’s grandfather appealed to whoever the gunman was, saying “Sana makonsesiya ka, ‘yung natamaan mong bata, apo ko ‘yan, mabait na bata ‘yan.” In Malabon, two-year-old Kirby was in his home when a bullet went through the roof of their house and grazed the toddler’s head. Though injured, he survived the incident. Marina Derder of Caloocan was also injured when a stray bullet through the window of her house hit her left hip. “Parang bigla akong pinalo dito sa balakang. Nag-iyakan ‘yung mga anak ko kasi nakita nila na dumudugo na itong balakang ko,” she said. Attention victims, gun owners The victims urged gun owners to consider the lives they are putting in danger by firing their weapons. Amid the outbreak of New Year-related injuries, Health Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag advised people to have their injuries treated, no matter how small. “’Yung mga sugat po diyan, ‘wag niyong babalewalain sapagkat marami na kaming binuksan na sugat sa ospital, nakabaon ‘yung papel ng paputok, pulbura, makikita naming nabubulok na pala ‘yung laman. ‘Yan po ang pag-uugatan ng tetanus,” he said. — With Amanda Lago/VS, GMA