Italy New Year celebrations: 2 dead, over 500 injured
ROME - Agence France-Presse
New Year's festivities in Italy turned deadly when firecrackers blew up a home killing a 31-year-old man, and a ricocheting bullet from celebratory gunfire took another life, Italian media reported Sunday. AFP PhotoNew Year's festivities in Italy turned deadly when firecrackers blew up a home killing a 31-year-old man, and a ricocheting bullet from celebratory gunfire took another life, Italian media reported Sunday.
Despite a ban on firecrackers in Italy's main cities and thousands of towns across the country, 561 people were injured according to police figures, including 76 children, many suffering burns to the hands or eyes.
In Rome, firefighters struggled to put out a blaze which destroyed an apartment after a man lit a firecracker which set off a large collection of fireworks, killing him and wounding several others, including four children.
Police had seized 30 kilos of illegal fireworks from the building just days earlier as part of a nationwide crackdown on the deadly devices which injure hundreds of people each year, particularly in the southern city of Naples.
In Casandrino, near Naples, 39-year-old Marco D'Apice was killed after he was hit in the mouth by a stray bullet as people fired guns into the air during the celebrations, media reports said.
Thousands of people took to the streets across Italy to see in the New Year. In Rome, 300,000 party goers celebrated at a live music show, while 70,000 partied in St Mark's Square in Venice and 100,000 revelled in Naples.