A young man is at risk of losing an eye after a terrible firework accident on New Year’s Eve
A young man is at risk of losing an eye after a terrible firework accident on New Year’s Eve

Firework accident may claim boy’s eye

A YOUNG man is at risk of losing an eye after a terrible firework accident on New Year's Eve.

The clock had just ticked past midnight when emergency services were called to a Humpty Doo property.

A spokesman for St John Ambulance said they attended the scene about 12:20am Sunday morning to assist with a 17-year-old boy who had sustained a severe injury to his right eye.

It is understood the accident occurred when a firework went off in his face.

He was taken to Royal Darwin Hospital in a serious condition, where hospital staff began work immediately to try to save his eye.

An RDH spokesman confirmed the boy was in a stable condition.

RDH emergency department admission data collected over 16 years showed a third of firework-related injuries in the Northern Territory were sustained outside Territory Day and were more likely to involve alcohol.

The study also showed men were the most likely to sustain firework-related injuries, with women and children more likely to be hurt as bystanders.

Study lead author and RDH trauma surgeon David Read estimated for every person admitted to hospital for fireworks-related injuries, another four or five received less serious injuries.

"Letting off a firework outside of Territory Day seems to be a powerful risk factor for being injured," Dr Read said.

In October, 2016, a man blew off at least two fingers and part of his palm after a firework he was holding went off at a Daly Waters cattle station.

Throughout the nation on Sunday, reports flooded in of injuries involving illegal fireworks.

Three men in Victoria were admitted to hospital after sustaining severe burns.

In the past 10 years, more than 197 people have been admitted to Royal Darwin Hospital with firework-related injuries including severe burns, lacerations, visual impairment, hearing loss and even broken bones. Of these, more than half were children under 16.

Although it is illegal to possess fireworks outside of Territory Day, many people stockpile explosives and often set them off on special occasions such as New Year's Eve.

People setting crackers off outside the allocated times, or in a dangerous manner, can be fined more than $1200.

Police have said it is unlikely the injured boy will be charged with offences, "due to the age of the injured person".

Earlier this year Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said police would be targeting anyone who illegally used fireworks post-Territory Day.