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A bystander throws a cracker set at last night's Phuket finale

UPDATE Two Malaysians Hurt as Firecracker Chaos Marks End of Phuket Festival

Monday, October 14, 2013
UPDATING All Day, Every Day

Phuket Public Health reported 65 people have been treated at hospitals for festival-related injuries, with seven admitted for eye, arm and leg wounds associated with firecrackers. Twelve warriors were treated for cuts to the face and nine for walking-on-fire injuries.

Original Report

PHUKET: Two Malaysians were admitted for treatment to a Phuket City hospital last night with injuries after firecracker mayhem marked the end of the annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival.

A spokesperson for Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City today confirmed that two Malaysians had been admitted but could not be more specific about their injuries.

''They have at least one relative on Phuket with them to help,'' the spokesperson said. It is believed the Malaysian Embassy has been contacted.

Police and health officials have become concerned this year about the number of teenagers throwing fireworks into the crowds. Several arrests have been made.

Police motorcycle patrols were out in force last night as parades of devotees from all of Phuket's Chinese shrines converged on Old Phuket Town to bring the festival to a noisy and spectacular end.

Thousands of people, many dressed in white as a sign of purity that marks the nine-day festival, looked on.

Fireworks are traditionally thrown under the feet of the possessed mah song warriors, who say they feel no pain. Firecrackers are believed to drive the invading spirits back out to sea.

But with more international tourists attending this year than ever before, safety has become a greater concern.

Comments

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I was there on 10-11pm with my thai family.
We decide to move out after a few minute as many young men were throwing fireworks in to the crowd or totally in the wrong direction. My young daughter was really shocked, she got one under her feet and we were 30m away from the crowd...

Posted by Vermor on October 14, 2013 12:25

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It has gotten worst, with no one teaching the youngsters what this tradition is about, I've seen kids as young as 9-10 years old lighting and throwing firecrackers at each other in jest. While driving back yesterday, saw a motorbike gang of them dressed all in white who lit a noisy one and threw it on the road as they passed. Luckily no vehicle followed behind if not what would have happened if it lit under a gas tank. And then one of the most unbelievable sights I saw, a family selling those bottles of gasoline by the roadside allowing their kids to play firecrackers beside those bottles full of flammable liquid. Can't believe the luck of these people, and the plain stupidity.

Posted by May on October 14, 2013 13:11

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It really has gone out of control. This festival is about purity... but groups of teenage boys are actually harassing people with the fireworks -- not mah songs but tourists and locals! The police presence was WEAK!

Posted by Jacob on October 15, 2013 10:55

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"groups of teenage boys are actually harassing people with the fireworks"

Yes, that is what teenage boys do all over the world, playing around, not listening to adults and having fun in their own way.

Posted by stevenl on October 15, 2013 11:53


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