The Narration of a NON Virtual Tragedy ...Devastation at Naxxar

The scene of devastation at Naxxar after a garage containing fireworks exploded
demolishing three adjoining residences and taking two lives. Photo Victor Mercieca.

When are we gonna learn? How many more lives need be sacrificed before someone takes action on people playing carelessly with the production of fireworks? How many more tragedies before the situation is grabbed by its horns. Adding to the long line of catastrophes caused by fireworks, we just had another tragedy which has taken the life of innocent victims. I can still see the face of the people who lived close to the place of the tragedy. A husband and father of two little children have lost everything they possessed simply because someone thought that keeping fireworks mixtures in a garage next door was a good thing to do. His body was trembling and he was trying to conquer his shock as he tried to tell his story, but he looked lost even if he was a few metres away from what was his family dwelling in Triq id-Dgħejf, Naxxar. When the whole negligence thing blew, it took houses and lives. His only insurance was against his home loan. So, now, he has no mortgage but no house either, no clothes, no wedding photos, no family snapshots, nothing. Another of the residents in Triq id-Dgħejf is in the same dilemma, except that he lost his wife too, and the mother of his two children. Lives and lifetimes, up in smoke.Another two garages, just across the street from the explosion, were also loaded with fireworks explosives. Had these ignited too, we would be looking at an even more tragic scenario in which tens of lives would have been lost. Remember too that last Monday, the morrow of election weekend, practically nobody worked or went to school. Had this happened on that day many of the dead would have been children. It is about time this crazy ‘hobby’ is reined in. The authorities need to bite the bullet and sort this problem out once and for all. There are many aspects to pyrotechnics and they are not all negative, but unfortunately, the negatives are overpowering. Any injury, let alone fatality, caused by fireworks should not be acceptable and we should all demand that something is done about it.

Every time there is a fireworks tragedy, the politicians turn up at the place of misfortune and the funerals and we have a wave of chest beating and national mourning. The biggest problem is that we have too many fanatics and too many of them are amateurs.
Now, although more people complain about the noise, many still love the colourful displays, and so do I. But we do have too many displays and most people don’t realise that fireworks also pollute the air with the fallout of heavy metals, dust and fumes, and the ground with dangerous litter.
All the beautiful colours are toxic. The bright green designs are made with barium, which is extremely poisonous and radioactive. The blazing reds are produced with lithium and strontium and purple colours with rubidium, which is radioactive and can replace calcium in the body.
The blues contain copper compounds that cause dioxin pollution. According to New Scientist (3 July, 1999), fireworks cause dioxin pollution and blue fireworks release the most dioxins.

The brilliant whites contain aluminium and titanium. Those dreadful petards not only harm our eardrums and nerves, but can also cause contact dermatitis.
Cadmium found in zinc, copper and lead (all used in firework production) is used in nuclear reactors and the propellant ammonium perchlorate can contaminate ground and surface waters as discovered by US research, and can disrupt thyroid functions.
Yes, fireworks displays are beautiful and I would not want to see them disappear, but right now we have far too many and they are out of control.

It is clear that it is about time to deal definitively with the threat to life and extremity posed by fireworks in our society. I am not saying that it is a good idea to abolish the whole business because fireworks are a fundamental part of our culture and also, by doing that would be practically the same as this pastime will be done secretive, so we need to react maturely and reasonably. Fireworks enthusiasts, must learn to comply with the authorities and safety regulations and the firework groups and societies must come up with healthy suggestions so together we can ease the danger of this hazardous hobby, because unless something genuine is done the permanent danger to blameless victims, like the 32-year-old mother of two who died this week, will continue still as forceful and intense as it has been ever since.

Site Meter


Popular posts from this blog

Hiccups Pub Paceville- still the best burger you could ever have had...but luckily you still can have...

Remembering Steve Jobs- a tribute in pictures.