Source: Xinhuanet

02-25-2007 11:09

Casualties of fireworks totaled 663 including one death in Beijing during Spring Festival, or the Chinese lunar New Year celebrations, according to the municipal health authorities.

Over the seven-day period beginning lunar New Year's Eve on February 17, improper use of fireworks was blamed for 420 cases, 63 percent of the total, up 13.51 percent from last year, the Beijing municipal health bureau said.

Substandard fireworks wounded 120 others, a 0.87 percent increase from last year's festival, it added.

A 25-year-old man died from head injuries on lunar New Year's Eve and another man, 21, suffered injuries resulting in the loss of an eye, according to the Beijing fireworks administration office.

The city reported 654 casualties of fireworks during the same period last year.

This was the second year since Beijing lifted a 12-year ban on fireworks, which are traditionally believed to scare away demons and bring good fortune.

This year, more than 510,000 boxes of firecrackers went on sale in over 2,000 outlets in Beijing ahead of the celebrations.

The new regulations allow Beijing residents inside the 5th Ring Road to let off fireworks all day on February 17 and 18 -- lunar New Year's Eve and lunar New Year's Day -- and from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM every day from February 19 until March 4.


Editor:Du Xiaodan