Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

I was set alight after thugs fired Halloween rocket at me

A Londonderry man has spoken of his terror after he was set ablaze and badly burned by an exploding firework thrown from a passing car.

The man, who does not wish to be identified, suffered burns to his shoulder, neck and collarbone and says he has been left unable to carry out simple tasks such as tying his laces, because of the pain.

And he says he dreads to think what might have happened if a child, elderly person or motorist were targeted.

He also called for tighter restrictions on the sale of the rocket-type fireworks.

The man was walking at Creggan Road at about 2am on Monday morning when the rocket was thrown at him from a passing car.

His coat caught fire and he suffered burns to his left shoulder.

"I was in total shock," he said.

"I managed to get help from a taxi driver but it was all so sudden. I was just walking along minding my own business and this rocket came out of nowhere.

"I was terrified. My coat went on fire. It was sore at the time, but it is even worse now. I have to have the dressings changed every day and I can't even tie my own shoelaces or get my trousers on because of the pain.

"But I am just thankful it wasn't worse. What if an elderly person or a child is next, or if they hit a car and cause the driver to lose control?

"These fireworks are going to end up killing someone.

"You see it everyday, these schoolkids are firing bangers indiscriminately when there are young children and old people around, they don't realise the damage they might cause.

" Someone is selling them to the young people and it needs to be stopped. I would say ban them altogether before someone is killed."

Police in Derry have asked anyone with information on the attackers to contact them.

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