NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATIONS TAKE TOLL IN PHILIPPINES

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NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATIONS TAKE TOLL IN PHILIPPINES

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Jan. 2) - At least 18 people have died and hundreds have been injured in the Philippines during New Year's Eve celebrations.

Police say fireworks have caused at least 500 injuries - mostly burns - while 11 people have been wounded by celebratory gunfire.

At least 18 people died at a market in Lucena City, south-east of the capital, Manila, when a firecracker vendor set off a massive blaze by testing his wares too close to his storeroom.

However, officials say the death toll may rise as 22 people are missing.

Eleven fires in Manila raced through a home for the disabled, a plastics factory, another market and dozens of houses but caused no serious injuries.

January 2, 2004

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

 

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