Rainy weather grounds fireworks

Cold, rainy conditions are expected to lessen the number of firework injuries on animals and people during Diwali this year, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) said on Thursday.

“It seems the weather is not conducive for setting off fireworks, and this has put a damper on things,” said the SPCA’s spokesperson for Pietermaritzburg, Maureen Vida.

She was speaking ahead of Diwali, the Festival of Lights, celebrated by the Hindu community this weekend.

Celebrations usually begin a few days before the festival—this year being celebrated on Friday—during which time the SPCA and trauma centres experience an influx of animals and people with firework injuries.

Vida said there has been sporadic firework usage over the past week, but no animal injuries have been reported yet.

Dr Devan Moodley, head of Durban’s Chatsmed Garden Hospital trauma unit, said there have been a few minor cases of people being injured by fireworks this week.

“Injuries have definitely reduced from last year because people are becoming more cautious ... the weather may have also played a part in it,” he said.

He added people were also being extra careful after a reported incident at the Durban Exhibition Centre. “A firecracker in a horizontal position had gone off, and a few people were injured,” he said.

Officials at the exhibition centre were not willing to comment.

“Another reason why there have been fewer injuries is because many high-school pupils are still busy studying and writing exams,” said Moodley.—Sapa

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