Postcard from... Naples

 

In Italy, particularly in the southern city of Naples, it might make sense swapping the greeting “buon anno” – happy new year – for “lucky new year” or “safe new year”, as the ritual, idiotic use of DIY fireworks brings an avalanche of serious burns, mutilations and general chaos.

On Sunday the 30th, in a taste to come of the carnage, a car full of dodgy fireworks in Naples exploded, seriously injuring its three occupants. Ironically, the firework that caused most of the damage – and 2nd/3rd degree burns – was thought to be The Spread, named in honour of the disastrous gap between Italian and German borrowing costs.

Naples police said on Monday that more than 11 tons of illegal fireworks had been confiscated ahead of the big night. Throughout the surrounding Campania region, officers had arrested 10 people for selling and trafficking illegal fireworks, and confiscated 250,000 fireworks.

"Our objective is to guarantee a serene and safe New Year's Eve and prevent injuries," said General Carmine Adinolfi of Campania's Carabinieri.

Despite his officers' best efforts there's some way to go: two men died after being hit by stray rockets on Tuesday night, and there were more than 150 serious injuries – 107 of them in and around Naples.

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