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Cyprus

Man almost loses an eye after being hit by firecracker on his way to church

Limassol General Hospital

A man almost lost an eye on Friday night on his way to church in Paphos when he was hit by a firecracker thrown in the churchyard by a stranger.

The incident happened around 8.30pm when he was heading into the churchyard with family members, police said.

A 24-year-old was taken to Paphos hospital but had to be transferred by ambulance to Limassol hospital for specialised treatment following a diagnosis of hematoma in his right eye. After receiving treatment, he was discharged later that night.

Police located fragments of the firecracker at the church. They said it was a regular factory-made firecracker that had been modified. The culprit has not been found as yet.

In a second incident, a call was received around 1.30am saying there was a fire underway in a field near a church in Larnaca, and also that an EAC pole was on fire.

Police and firefighters found around 25 young people at the scene who began throwing stones at them as they tried to put out the two fires before fleeing. One, a 19-year-old was nabbed and arrested.

Police are pursuing a case against him on charges of arson and attacking officers.

“The police, on the occasion of these two incidents, point out once again, the dangers that exist from the use of firecrackers and fireworks, as well as from lighting a fire,” a statement said.

“There are many examples, from the recent past, where people have suffered burns and mutilation from the use of crackers. Crackers and fireworks are not a toy. They are explosive devices which either injure or kill, with the risk of being present both to the persons who use them and to other persons who are with or near them,” it added.

Police, as every year during the Easter period, they were out patrolling and policing the places where the illegal use of crackers and the illegal lighting of fire are generally observed, they said.

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