Unauthorized firecracker show causes tragedy in Salcedo

18 persons suffered burns when fireworks went off and the carnival outfits of those nearby caught on fire. First Lady Raquel Arbaje has taken a personal interest and says the government will cover all costs for the recovery of the injured in the Sunday, 10 March 2024 Salcedo carnival day tragedy.

On Monday, the public health system reported that 10 children and three adults were hospitalized with serious burns.

The authorities had not authorized fireworks to entertain crowds. Nevertheless, fireworks were there. “There was no type of permit and the use of fireworks was not contemplated,” confirmed Salcedo Mayor Maria Mercedes Ortiz. She told the press that all efforts are now concentrated on the recovery of the burned.

Six of 10 burned children were taken to the Santiago Arturo Grullon Pediatrics hospital. The director of the hospital’s burns unit, Dr. Alexis García, said the children suffered second and third-degree burns on 60 to 80% of their bodies.

Aside from those taken to the Arturo Grullon hospital in Santiago, others were taken to the Ney Arias Lora trauma hospital. One adult man is at the hospital’s burn center.

Likewise, the Dr. Robert Reid Cabral children’s hospital in Santo Domingo received children with serious burns.
The director of the capital city’s Dr. Robert Reid Cabral Children’s Hospital, Dr. Mabel Jones, reported that three of the four transferred from Salcedo are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), with 80% of their bodies burned. The patients taken from Salcedo to the Robert Reid Cabral pediatrics hospital in Santo Domingo are 14 to 16 years old and are in the intensive care unit of the public hospital.

Diego Pesqueira, Police spokesperson said the Police is investigating. The incident occurred shortly before the start of the carnival parade on the central Buenaventura Almanzar Street in Salcedo.

So far they understand people suffered burns when their costumes caught on fire. The people who suffered injuries were attired in the complicated costumes for the carnival that caught on fire and took time to take off.

The use of fireworks is regulated in the Dominican Republic and their operation requires permission since 2009 when Law No. 340-09 on the control and use of fireworks was passed to prevent injuries. The law establishes that the detonation and use of fireworks is the exclusive responsibility of pyrotechnic show companies. Likewise, the unauthorized storage of fireworks is banned.

The president of the Salcedo Carnival Committee, Carlos José Reinoso, said it was an accident. As reported in Noticias SIN, he said: “What we have heard, because we were already coordinating so that they would go out to the area at the established time, they had already been informed that they had to go out to the area where the parade starts and that someone placed some fireworks and lit them. But, as the groups left, someone collided with those fires and they dispersed and, you know that the suits are made of crepe paper and the temperature was very high, it seems that this is what caused it.”

As reported in Noticias SIN, Reinoso said that once people suffered burns, the carnival was suspended in solidarity. According to the president of the commission, the minors affected by the fire are children of members of the Salcedo carnival group.

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Daily Mail

12 March 2024