Injury toll from NYE fireworks rises

Injury toll from NYE fireworks rises
Revellers set off firecrackers by the Colosseum ahead of New Year celebrations. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
The injury toll from exploding fireworks over New Year increased this year, with 36 people hospitalised.

The number of casualties rose to 212 from 184 in 2016, although for the fifth consecutive year there were no fatalities.

Once-raucous fireworks celebrations have been toned down in recent years amid increased warnings about the dangers. Two people were killed by fireworks and 361 were injured over the New Year period in 2012, while a seven-year-old boy lost his hand during celebrations a year later.

Many towns and cities have also limited or banned the use of fireworks during the period, over safety concerns for people and animals, but also due to worries over pollution.

But New Year celebrations went off with a bang in Italy's major cities. Some 73,000 of people, including Rome mayor Virginia Raggi and Luigi Di Maio, the Five Star Movement's candidate for prime minister, packed the Circus Maximus, an ancient Roman sporting arena, for a concert.

However the biggest party was in Venice, where 80,000 people crowded into St Mark's Square in Venice to watch a fireworks' display, although three children were among those injured.