Philippine New Year mayhem kills two, injures hundreds

Stray bullets and exploding firecrackers have killed two and injured hundreds in the Philippines, authorities said Friday, amid the country’s traditional riotous New Year celebrations.

A drunk man died after he embraced a giant firecracker, called “Goodbye Philippines”, as it was about to explode, health secretary Janet Garin told reporters.
“His jaw was shattered. He was so intoxicated he hugged the Goodbye Philippines,” Garin said, adding the man was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Eighty percent of the country’s 100 million people are Catholic but Filipino superstition dictates making ear-shattering noises during New Year’s Eve to ward off bad luck.

Revellers set off firecrackers and shoot guns into the air to celebrate the December festive season.