NEWS

Three killed in Easter festivities

Three people were killed and four injured in accidents involving fireworks during the Easter weekend, when it is a tradition for pyrotechnic displays to accompany church services marking the resurrection of Christ. A 17-year-old man was killed on Crete, a 21-year-old on Santorini and a 25-year-old in the Peloponnesian prefecture of Messenia. The 17-year-old died in the village of Voroi near Iraklio while constructing a homemade firework with a friend on Sunday. He lost a hand in the blast and had died by the time he was taken to the hospital. The 21-year-old died in an explosion on Saturday night while he was making fireworks with a friend in a warehouse in Karterado. The other man suffered eye injuries. A 28-year-old in the Santorini village of Firostefani also suffered serious injuries to one of his hands while making fireworks, known locally as «balafouma.» In Messenia, the 25-year-old from the village of Moschohori was transporting balloons containing oxygen that were due to be exploded in place of fireworks on Saturday night but they went off in his car and the unnamed man burned to death. A 16-year-old from the village of Nenita on Chios lost one of his thumbs and three fingertips when a homemade firework exploded in his hand on Saturday afternoon. The northern Aegean island is known for the Easter tradition of the «rocket war» which involves locals from two congregations in the village of Vrontado aiming fireworks at each other’s church with the aim of hitting the bell tower. It is estimated that about 65,000 fireworks were used on Saturday night. A 16-year-old also broke two fingers in Argos, the Peloponnese, when a firecracker exploded in his hand.