Emergency workers and police kept busy
The skies across parts of Port Elizabeth’s northern areas shone a bright hue of orange as residents celebrated the annual tradition of Guy Fawkes at the weekend.
SAPS, emergency services and traffic officials were on high alert during much of Saturday evening as residents of the gang-riddled northern suburbs put on a show of a different kind.
Three serious Guy Fawkes related injuries were treated by doctors at Livingstone Hospital, spokeswoman Busi Ngceshe said.
A seven-year-old boy was treated for injuries but later discharged into his parents’ care, while a 10-year-old boy was referred to Port Elizabeth’s Provincial Hospital for a consultation with eye doctors. A 25-year-old man is still in hospital with bone fractures.
Provincial health spokesman Siyanda Manana said no Guy Fawkes-related injuries had been treated at Dora Nginza Hospital. No similar injuries were treated at the city’s private hospitals.
Incidents included tyres being set alight and some swung on the end of ropes.
Traffic circles in Searle Road as well as Jameson Road in Schauderville were turned into flaming danger zones as fires, which were most probably started by burning tyres were fuelled by wooden pallets thrown on top of them.
Motorists riding through Stanford Road were also pelted with stones and other objects as they drove past the Helenvale area.
Small children could not contain their excitement as the colourful fireworks went off in front of them.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said despite a strong police presence to maintain order in the area, no arrests had been made during Guy Fawkes celebrations in the metro on Saturday night.
“A lot of the fires were started by children who just ran off when the police approached,” she said.
“We confiscated a lot of tyres.”
Animal welfare organisations in the metro said they had a fairly quiet evening on Saturday, noting a decrease in the number of injured or stray animals coming to their centres compared to other years.
But the Animal Anti Cruelty League said it had dealt with a variety of cases over the last week.
League inspector Beverley Rademeyer said they had attended to a dog which was killed after trying to run from the loud bangs.
Another dog got stuck in a security gate in Booysen Park also trying to evade fireworks.
“The law needs to clamp down on the main distributors who sell these fireworks to the shops, which in turn sell them to little children, without the supervision of parents, because it’s so dangerous for children, and even more so for animals,” Rademeyer said.
An Animal Welfare Society official said no serious injuries had been reported. He said in previous years staff had patrolled areas with their bakkie and trailer looking for injured or stray animals.
Save-A-Pet manager Leigh Done said the organisation had been much quieter in terms of animals being reported as injured or straying.
All the organisations said they would continue to monitor the situation in the coming week to ensure all animals could be assisted if required.