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Plastic surgeons amputate several hands after firework mishaps

Friday 04 January 2013

Plastic surgeons had to deal with 40 firework victims following the New Year celebrations and partially or totally amputated 14 hands, sector organisation NVPC said on Friday.

Last year, plastic surgeons were called in to deal with 25 serious injuries. ‘This is just the tip of the iceberg. Only the most serious cases are registered,’ the NVPC is quoted as saying by news agency ANP>

Almost all victims were male, 45% were under the age of 18 and 64% of the fireworks involved were illegal, the NVPC said.

© DutchNews.nl

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Readers' comments (19)

I am at a loss for what the Dutch should do in order to be consistent to their liberal culture. Should they enforce some ban on fireworks and fine people for illegal possession including some of the unforetuneate victims? Or should they allow people to choose their poison while giving them the right to make poor decisions? Liberal democratic countries have it tough to decide. There will heated arguments supporting all positions. Will individual rights and freedoms prevail or will government responsibility and good governance?

By roland | January 4, 2013 4:05 PM

It is now an enshrined Dutch tradition to make stupid decisions with explosives on New Year's Eve. This is how they think! Just ask justice minister Ivo Opstelten.

By Rick Kane | January 4, 2013 4:18 PM

@Roland, I'd hope for a bit of both. We are all adults and as such should be held responsible for our own decisions and mistakes. If, however, our mistakes involve selling fireworks to under-agers (same rule for alcohol and cigarettes) then some form of punishment should come into place for those who did the selling. And of course if you blow of your own hand because of your own stupidity, I must certainly hope those medical costs will come from your own eigen risico and not some government "kitty".

By Michael K | January 4, 2013 4:23 PM

At the very least they could prohibit minors from possessing and using fireworks. In addition to fewer hands lost, maybe there'd be less brats being a menace to their neighborhoods.

By Valentijn | January 4, 2013 4:51 PM

well i would have to say we need less government, we should have the right to learn from poor decessions, it is apart of growing up, and we have the right to make mistakes, will the government ask everyone to wear helmits while on a bike, it is public right to make poor decession, but they should live with actions, and learn,

By rob | January 4, 2013 5:27 PM

I lived for 40 years in Australia and lived through the personal fireworks ban. I was a bit miffed at the time as it felt like a little of my liberty had been taken away However within a short time the amazing display on the harbour evolved and now I think nobody is that keen to go back to the way it was before
when we let off a few fireworks ourselves and it was over in minutes.Bring on the big central displays like London,Sydney. New York etc. and then everybody will keep their hands.

By ken barnett | January 4, 2013 8:58 PM

On New Year's Eve I travelled on the bus to get some groceries. When I returned to the village there was a crowd of at least 25 children messing around with fireworks at the bus stop. The poor driver was clearly petrified and she asked me if she could drop me off somewhere down the road. An outright ban would be too draconian, but there certainly does need to be a crackdown on children messing with fireworks.

By Darren | January 4, 2013 11:38 PM

roland: not trying to be simplistic, but I'd propose that personal liberty should be increasingly curtailed as it negatively affects others. Smoking dope etc. is your business, other than the drag you cause on society if you are less useful to society if you use it to excess. But that is so much your decision, and the consequences are yours alone, that the state ought to keep out of it.

Setting off fireworks, maybe blowing your hands off, doesn't just affect you (with the provisos above) - it intimidates and often harms others. It's not your personal freedom that is at issue here.

By glenn_uk | January 5, 2013 4:56 AM

All fireworks should be banned! They are not just lit on New Years but weeks,even months before and after. Every year I have to clean up the mess in my front and back gardens, clean my gutters, and all of my windows. I have had damage to my car and house from the heat of the ash coming down. People destroy lightposts, mailboxes, trash containers and anything else that they can! It costs millions of Euros in damage and health care costs. NOT WORTH IT for the sake of a tradition...kind of like the Dutch keeping the Zwart Piet tradition when they know it's racist and wrong! I hate it here!

By M | January 5, 2013 1:27 PM

Rob your approach sounds like the old time Barry Goldwater conservative movement when the US had actual conservatives and not these folks pretending to be conservatives. Keep the government out of as much as possible and rely on the public to make good personal decisions. Some call it thinning the herd.

By bobke | January 5, 2013 3:50 PM

You can be liberal and have common sense at the same time. Liberties only extend to where they do not harm or harass others, and I do consider minors included in this. An 8 year old with a bag of fireworks is not responsible for his poor choices - the adults who buy are. And you either prosecute the adults or ban the fireworks, really.

By bobbianderson | January 5, 2013 4:43 PM

Not having grown up in a country where individuals buy their own illegal firecrackers to let off over the unofficial five days on New Year celebrations - I find it hard to believe that the cost of personal health (and further disability); the noise pollution; destruction of public and private property; rubbish, and often anxiety - is worth fighting for. I agree that more people would enjoy and benefit from a major fireworks display paid for, and conducted by Amsterdam Council.

By Ana | January 5, 2013 5:43 PM

Nice post, Ken. I agree.

By Stupid | January 6, 2013 3:17 AM

It gets outta hand...no pun intended. Each gemeente or cluster of gemeentes should put on a professional show and all other fireworks should be banned. But yeah, try to change the Dutch. I dare you.

By JustMe | January 6, 2013 2:00 PM

Thanks Ken
I too remember "cracker night" and the fear I had when fireworks were let off in the street by children. I used to love the fireworks being let off by the neighbours who were doing it responsibly as I was not allowed to have them because they brought back too many memories of gunfire and bombing for my mother.
I too was a bit saddened when fireworks were no longer allowed to be let off without a permit but there is no longer that fear for our children and we don't have the horrific injuries to limbs and eyes that the children of my generation had. A good thing I think.

By Marianne Lloyd | January 7, 2013 2:01 AM

14 not so bright people lose their hands... that's evolution at work.

By Quince | January 7, 2013 4:54 PM

I totally agree with Ken. Gemeente should set up an official firework show. Then people may stop doing this shockingly dangerous amusement. I don't want an innocent 10 year old lose his/her hand because of this stupid thing.

By brutal truth | January 7, 2013 5:10 PM

A young person has many decades ahead for him or her. His or her life will be much longer than they could possibly imagine. To go through life without proper hand functioning will effect everything they do for all activities and career for the rest of their life, a huge tragedy to be prevented by mature, rational adults and the law. My heart goes to the victims.

By NLvisitor | January 7, 2013 10:11 PM

Kids were driven indoors in many places by those using dangerous and illegal explosives. So there is not even the enjoyment for them. Get rid of fireworks by individuals. One hand from any kid is one hand too many. Like in Australia control what is out of control organised widespread main displays of fireworks. More spectacular and enjoyed for longer without injuries and no damage to private property or kids. Wake up Holland. The only ones who benefit are those selling it and they will not control it or be responsible.

By Bleeding Obvious | January 7, 2013 11:18 PM

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