Officials in the Philippines tried to curb the usual tide of injuries this New Year's Eve and even had some success, the New York Times reports. Hundreds of people are injured there every New Year's by fireworks, fighting, and celebratory gunfire—so officials recently mounted a campaign, running off posters of mangled hands and having a doctor appear on television to warn of the inevitable amputations. One official even danced onstage to offer people a new way to celebrate.
But when the smoke cleared today, some 476 people were injured, including 177 children under 11 years of age and 26 people who needed amputations. Statistically, that's a 13% decline from last year, but try telling that to an emergency room doctor in Manila—who described the hospital scene as akin to a war zone. “In my experience, it was worse this year than last year,” he said. Officials are battling a deeply rooted Chinese tradition that New Year's noise drives away bad luck. (Read more Philippines stories.)