Over 400 people suffer minor injuries in Traslacion

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 9) – Over four hundred people were reported injured during the procession marking the feast of the Black Nazarene, authorities said Thursday.

Manila disaster management officials tallied a total of 487 people hurt since the beginning of the procession, called Traslacion. They said all were minor injuries and that there were no fatalities. The procession began at 4:10 a.m. at the Quirino Grandstand and ended at 8:45 a.m. at Quiapo Church, lasting 16 hours and 35 minutes, according to the Manila Public Information Office.

Just hours into the Traslacion, or at 9:27 a.m., Manila’s Risk Reduction and Management Organization recorded 144 injuries. As of 9:04 pm, authorities estimated at least three million devotees joined the festivities.

The Philippine National Police, which deployed more than 14,000 personnel to secure the Traslacion, said among the wounded were a police officer whose leg was injured and a soldier who suffered an arm injury.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) said that their volunteers attended to 1,051 individuals, including 679 who had their blood pressure checked. About 291 patients who suffered from dizziness, shortness of breath, elevated blood pressure, abrasion, laceration and sprains also received first aid.

The PRC added 26 patients with minor medical cases were treated on-site and 14 were brought to the Ospital ng Maynila and Jose Reyes medical center due to hypertension, dislocation, fractures, fainting and loss of consciousness. There were also 41 devotees given psychological first aid, it said.

During the procession, some devotees said the security officers sprayed them with what appeared to be water mixed with chili. However, PRC Chairman and Senator Richard Gordon said the volunteers did not report of any patients having suffered injuries from such a spray.

"Wala kaming napulot na ganoon. Ang complaint mainly is sumikip daw dahil nagakaroon ng barricade ng mga pulis at military which is really for the protection of the people," Gorodn told CNN Philippines' Newsroom.

[Translation: We did not receive that kind of information. The complaint is mainly tight spaces due to the barricade of the police and military which is really for the protection of the people.]

He said he was glad that there were no fatalities and severe injuries recorded from the major event.

Some changes have been introduced this year, such as a new route to quicken the Black Nazarene procession, which draws millions of devotees every year.

READ: Traslacion 2020: Millions of Black Nazarene devotees seek miracles, healing

Traslacion is the old Catholic tradition of transferring the black Jesus Christ figure in a carriage from Rizal Park to its home in Quiapo Church in Manila. Last year, the procession, which was participated by 2.5 million devotees, took 21 hours.

READ: Everything you need to know about Traslacion 2020