Festive celebrations have caused a child to lose his arms, in one of dozens of firecracker accidents this holiday season.
Despite calls by authorities to avoid using firecrackers, the explosives have injured 88 people since the beginning of December. Wednesday’s festival of Candlelight, an annual celebration, saw 37 people hurt by fireworks in just one day.
In Antioquia a 12-year-old boy lost his arms and a 19-year-old suffered serious injuries to his legs.
In Cali, a 32-year-old man is in a critical condition after a firecracker exploded in his hand. He lost his left arm below the elbow and suffered injuries to his eye and face.
Another Cali accident left a boy with facial injuries that may need plastic surgery.
53 of those injured in total so far are under 18 years old.
Antioquia takes the lead for the number of people injured by a long way, with 44 firecracker accidents. In second place is Valle with 16; then Caldas with seven, Tolima with four and Boyaca with three.
The director of Colombia’s National Health Institute, Juan Gonzalo Lopez, blamed the situation in Antioquia on a longstanding cultural tradition of firecrackers coupled with a lack of understanding of the serious consequences burns can bring.