New Year starts with 10 firework related injuries, 21 assaults - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

New Year starts with 10 firework related injuries, 21 assaults

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Several people were hurt from fireworks or assaults during New Years Eve celebrations including a Waialua man who is fighting for his life.

The firework remnants remain on Kuhi Street in Waialua. A 44 year old man on that street hurt himself when he looked down the barrel of an illegal aerial firework when it went off hitting him in the face.

"We spoke about many of them being into the face, well think about what that's going to look like for probably the rest of that person's life," said Shayne Enright, Emergency Medical Services Spokesperson.

Ten people on Oahu were hurt by fireworks overnight compared to two last year.  One was a six years old boy in Waimanalo who took a popper in to the eye. Another was a 22 year old Waianae man who seriously hurt his eye when an aerial firework exploded in a PVC pipe. The injuries were from both illegal and legal firecrackers.

"We can respond to these, we can give the numbers and the stats but it's the people who are now in the emergency rooms this morning hoping that their loved one is going to be okay. We can talk about it until we're blue in the face but until it's your loved one or your neighbor people aren't going to stop," said Enright. 

Right now only firecrackers are allowed with a permit, although plenty of people still light off illegal fireworks. Fortunately no homes on Oahu were damaged, but there were still nuisance fires.

"They were rubbish fires, Christmas trees being lit on fire, dumpsters that had firecrackers thrown into them that the contents inside the dumpster then burned," said Battalion Chief Terry Seelig, Honolulu Fire Department.

The Honolulu Fire Department says it will continue to fight to outlaw all fireworks including the firecrackers.

"To protect the community and to protect the responders we feel a complete ban on fireworks is necessary," said Kevin Mokulehua, Honolulu Fire Department, Fire Inspector.

There were also 21 people that needed paramedics from assaults, many were cases of domestic violence.

"You mix alcohol with explosive personalities and we had a lot of people out there fighting one another," said Enright. 

Which isn't what anyone meant by starting the New Year with a bang.

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