Unusually High Number of Fireworks Injuries in Iceland Skip to content

Unusually High Number of Fireworks Injuries in Iceland

Close to 20 people went to the ER of the Landspítali hospital in Reykjavík because of eye injuries caused by fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Seven of those injured were referred to ophthalmologists for further treatment, one of whom was seriously injured.

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Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

All of those injured were adults, six men and one woman. Ophthalmologist Elínborg Gudmundsdóttir told Morgunbladid that an unusually high number of people were injured while shooting off fireworks with their families. Two of them weren’t even shooting off fireworks but only observing.

The most common fireworks accidents happen when teenagers are tampering with them without supervision in the days around New Year’s Eve.

In five of the seven cases of eye injuries, people were trying to relight fireworks boxes that didn’t go off which then exploded in their faces.

Kristinn Ólafsson, managing director of the search and recue association ICE-SAR which has the largest share of the fireworks market, said there are always cases of faulty fireworks.

It is important not to try and relight them but rather put them out with water and later turn them in to ICE-SAR. Ólafsson stressed the importance of protective glasses that come with all fireworks sold by ICE-SAR.

Gudmundsdóttir said protective glasses would have reduced all seven eye injuries—none of those injured wore glasses when the accident occurred.

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