• Germany's news in English

37-year-old loses hand to firecracker

The Local · 30 Dec 2010, 10:24

Published: 30 Dec 2010 10:24 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The 37-year-old man’s hand was badly injured on Wednesday when the firecracker went off quickly after it was lit. He was rushed from the town of Deuben where the accident happened to a hospital in Jena.

Doctors had to amputate his left hand. A second man standing nearby was also injured when the firework detonated, albeit not seriously.

Police are investigating the remaining batch of fireworks that were in the men’s possession. The type and origin of the firecrackers were not immediately known.

Fireworks are legally available in Germany from December 29-31 each year. They must be purchased by someone over 18 and cannot be used beyond January 1. Germans spent a total of €113 million on fireworks last year.

Legal fireworks have been checked by the Stiftung Warentest – Germany's independent consumer safety agency. However, there are concerns that illegal fireworks from eastern Europe, which are cheaper and often more powerful, are widely sold in Germany. Such fireworks have been known to detonated immediately after being lit, causing injuries.

Story continues below…

This year, authorities are cracking down on use of fireworks in areas close to churches, hospitals and historic buildings. While the rules vary from city to city, people breaching the no-fireworks zone regulations face fines up to €50,000.

DPA/The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

11:07 December 30, 2010 by dcgi
Darwin in action.
12:29 December 30, 2010 by storymann
The first rule of fireworks...Bigger the bang the better
12:54 December 30, 2010 by twisted
Why fireworks are still legal in the "ma-ma" state of Germany is beyond me. Band the damn things and save some limb. Adults at 37 should know better.
16:19 December 30, 2010 by catjones
You've got to hand it to him.......
16:51 December 30, 2010 by MonkeyMania
Another social case created for the mammy state to look after.
18:04 December 30, 2010 by Kanji
firecracker accidents are very common in our country every new year's celebration, be careful!!!!!.....
20:21 December 30, 2010 by tomjack
Thats what happends when you put things into the wrong hands sad really.
20:28 December 30, 2010 by iseedaftpeople
whelp... life is dangerous. Especially for the feeble-minded who despite their mature age of 37 (one would think) can't seem to handle firecrackers right.

Unless you go buy illegal fireworks from across the Polish border, this does not happen with safety-tested German ones. Believe me, I have been handling German firecrackers since I was about a 12 year old kid, nothing ever happens to you if you throw them away right the second you light them. This guy was probably playing the old game of trying to get it to explode in mid-air, for which you have to hold them for about five seconds before throwing them. Dangerous, not to be recommended.
21:26 December 30, 2010 by ukpunk1
Must have been those Polish/Czech fireworks.
21:54 December 30, 2010 by marimay
sometimes you'll get a firecracker with a faulty fuse that burns up quickly. I dunno what "feeble minded" has to do with a manufacturing flaw.
00:02 December 31, 2010 by iseedaftpeople

In the 24 years since I was 12 that I have been handling firecrackers every single year at New Year's Eve, I have not had one firecracker where that has happened. Not one. Sometimes they don't go off at all, actually that's not so rare... but I have yet to see a large firecracker explode prematurely. So my guess is still that the guy was holding it in his hand too long.
02:44 December 31, 2010 by tigersun97
need to know the explosives you handle, quality control of contraband is questionable. Living in Miami my three son's and I (German expat)set off mega fireworks every July 4 and New years. Much fun and pyro learning experience and a few minor burns. A normal firecraker or major firecracker will not blow off hand major burn maybe. This gent got a hold of major expolsives, which are safe if you know what you are working with and take proper counter measures. Happy New Years
09:53 December 31, 2010 by marimay

It is nice that you have been lucky.... so far.

Today's headlines
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd