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Lawmaker Calls For Tougher Regulations On Pyrotechnics

By on January 1, 2016

SAN JUAN – Popular Democratic Party Rep. Angel Matos urged local authorities Friday to prosecute individuals involved in pyrotechnic-related incidents during the New Year’s Eve celebration.
Matos said Puerto Rico has an explosives law that establishes fines and penalties for those who make illegal use of pyrotechnics.
While no injuries were reported as a consequence of stray bullets, some 10 individuals were injured after using the explosive devices. Of the injuries caused by firecrackers, cherry bombs, flares, rockets or any other pyrotechnic material, officials reported one case that resulted in the amputation of the victim’s fingers and three cases in which victims suffered burns to the face, including a nine year old.
Matos said that while the victims suffered painful mutilations, they broke the law and must be prosecuted.
“This tradition of using explosives during New Year’s Eve must be eradicated from our society,” Matos said.
Fire Department Chief Ángel Crespo said the explosive devices that caused most of the injuries reported during the holiday celebration were legal pyrotechnics like “burning stars” and smoke balls.
“A burning star is not a children’s toy…We do have to rethink the explosives law because there is no control. People buy them in stores and think children can use them. We need to educate the public,” the Fire Chief said.


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