Call for cracker-less Diwali ignored

Call for cracker-less Diwali ignored

Kurali kid dies of burn injuries, Tricity hospitals flooded with eye injury patients.

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Four-year-old Ruchika at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh. (Express photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

A five-year-old boy died following serious burn injuries in Kurali on Sunday. The victim, Vikas, was bursting crackers with his three siblings when the accident happened. The child was rushed to a local hospital from where he was referred to PGI, where he succumbed to injuries. Vikas’s father is a vegetable vendor.

“While bursting cracker, his clothes caught fire. Though everyone around tried to douse the flames, thechild suffered burns and was rushed to a local civil hospital,” said police. Station house officer of the local police station, Amarvir Singh, said they started investigations under Section 174 of the criminal procedure code.

Call for a cracker-less Diwali by various groups didn’t seem to have many takers as Tricity hospitals were flooded with patients with eye and burn injuries. As per official figures, Chandigarh hospitals recorded around 150 patients with eyes and burn injuries in last 24 hours, while Panchkula and Mohali hospitals recorded 20 and 22 patients respectively. Last year, the Tricity had recorded more than 180 cases in 24 hours of Diwali celebrations.

According to PGI doctors, till 4 pm on Monday, the hospital’s Advance Eye Center received 36 patients with eye injuries. Among the 36 victims, 22 underwent surgical process. One of the patient had sustained injuries in both the eyes while rest had sustained injuries in one eye. This year, the PGI doctors said more numbers of patients were from neighboring states other than Tricity unlike last year. “Thirteen patients were from the Tricity area, while 23 were from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh,” said a PGI statement.


The statement further read, “Most of the patients were between 17-40 years of age. Seventeen were bursting crackers when they suffered injuries while 19 were bystanders.” Claiming that PGI was anticipating lesser number of eye injuries this year, Dr Jagat Ram, who heads the Advance Eye Centre, PGI, told Chandigarh Newsline, “We were anticipating less number of cases this year.

But, the number is almost the same. The difference is only that there are less patients from the Tricity than neighbouring states.” Ram advocated that crackers should be allowed to be used only at one place in each sector instead at individual levels. “It (bursting crackers) results into loss of vision. There should be some alternative so that we can prevent such incidents. Those who underwent surgeries at PGI have serious injuries.” The PGI officials said that its Advance Trauma Center also received one case of burn injury.

The Government Multi Specialty Hospital(GMSH) hospital in Sector 16 received 15 patients with eye injuries. “Three cases were serious and were referred to PGI for treatment. Twelve patients had minor eye injuries and were sent back after treatment,” said a GMSH official.

The official also said that the hospital recorded 48 burn injuries cases. “All of them were minor injuries and were sent back to home,” he said.

According to Chandigarh Health authorities, Manimajra hospital also received three cases related to eye injuries which were referred to different hospitals. “The hospital also treated 10 patients with minor burn injuries,” said an official.

Apart from PGI and GMSH, the Government Medical College & Hospital in Sector 32, received 19 minor burn injuries while no eye injury was reported. The hospitals in Mohali and Panchkula were also kept busy during Diwali.

According to health officials, Panchkula general hospital recorded 20 cracker injuries, while the Mohali government hospital had 22 cases. “Most of the cases which came to us were burn injuries. There was no major fire incident,” said a health official in Panchkula. He said no case was referred to any hospital for treatment.