”Quiet” New Year’s Eve saw fewer serious accidents

January 2nd, 2012

This article is more than 11 years old.

More flareups, fewer eye injuries, at this year’s celebrations

New YearÂ’s Eve, as the saying goes, is all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

Luckily, the annual fireworks frenzy that marks New YearÂ’s Eve throughout Denmark was longer in fun and games and shorter in lost eyes this year.

All in all, emergency rooms around the country treated 82 New Year’s revelers with eye injuries from fireworks accidents. However, just nine of those cases were deemed “serious”. For comparison, on New Year’s Eve 2010, 15 people suffered serious eye injuries from fireworks accidents.

New quality control regulations from the Danish safety authority Sikkerhedsstyrelsen were partly responsible for the reduction in accidents, according to John Thygesen, a chief eye surgeon at Glostrup Hospital.

“We asked Sikkerhedsstyrelsen to look closer at the fuses in fireworks packs after last New Year’s Eve, when so many packs exploded as soon as the fuses were lit,” Thygesen told Urban newspaper. “So, it looks like the fuses were better [this year] and that the fireworks packs that used to fall over when they were lit were recalled.”

Out of the nine serious eye accidents from SaturdayÂ’s festivities, five of the victims were under 18 years old. The youngest victim was a five-year-old girl who required stitches in her eye.

But while emergency rooms were less busy than in previous years, 112-emergency operators and fire departments were busier than ever, reports Urban.

Some 1,322 citizens made emergency calls on New Year’s Eve and the firefighting division of Falck emergency services put out 165 fires – 12 more than last year. One of the worst fires was in Aalborg, where a supermarket nearly burned to the ground.

The merrymakers themselves were relatively peaceful this year, the Copenhagen Police reported.

“There weren’t any reports of serious conflicts at Rådhuspladsen [Town Hall Square],” said police supervisor John Hansen, even though the pyrotechnics and champagne-popping was as ecstatic as ever. “It was a really quiet evening,” he added.


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