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February 21, 2012

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Wedding firecrackers cost couple 58,000 yuan

THE Chinese tradition of setting off wedding day pyrotechnics backfired on a pair of newlyweds yesterday when the Putuo District People's Court ordered them to pay 58,000 yuan (US$9,214) to a wedding photographer whose vision was sharply damaged after he was hit in the eye by exploding firecrackers.

The photographer, Xiao Kang, was taking photos of the bride and groom on January 26 last year when firecrackers were set off to bless the couple as part of the Chinese traditional wedding. While the couple were indulged in happiness, the photographer was suddenly hit in the right eye by firecrackers falling from above.

The plaintiff said the firecrackers puffed his right eye and burned his lower eyelid. His eyeball turned purple after being hit by the explosives as the couple was leaving for a hotel, the court heard.

Xiao said he was sent to a nearby hospital for treatment but his visual acuity was badly damaged to a bare level of 0.05 and could not be recovered.

"The accident has greatly influenced my future work and life, especially to a photographer like me," Xiao told the court.

The photographer demanded 105,000 yuan for his loss. The couple disagreed, claiming that Xiao should have stood away from the dangerous area.

The court said the couple and photographer were both to blame and ruled the couple must pay the compensation.


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