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Confetti cannon checked by engineers, says victim

Bjorn Callus, 26, plays the euphonium. Source: FacebookBjorn Callus, 26, plays the euphonium. Source: Facebook

Confetti cannon used during traditional festi are now being certified by engineers under police supervision, according to a bandsman who was hurt exactly a year ago when one exploded in Gudja.

Bjorn Callus, 26, was hospitalised last year suffering face, neck and shoulder injuries after being struck by shards of metal from a burst cylinder that was part of the makeshift air cannon. But the episode has not dampened the spirits of the musician who will be back at the Santa Marija celebrations today playing his euphonium.

“I still have the scars but I do not have any permanent disability,” he told Times of Malta yesterday.

Mr Callus has had a “normal” summer of playing music at festi, conscious of the fact that police have started to regulate the confetti cannon by getting them certified by engineers.

The incident has raised awareness about the danger of makeshift confetti cannon... people are keeping a good distance from them

“At least that’s what they are doing in my district,” he said.

Mr Callus, who is originally from Vittoriosa but lives in Żabbar, was being paid to take part in the Gudja festa.

He is even less afraid of today’s performance because he assumes Gudja will intentionally avoid confetti cannon this time round.

Mr Callus said there was only one incident in the past year that left him apprehensive, which is when he saw a group of children near a confetti cannon.

“I don’t want to mention the place. I uploaded a photo to Facebook and it ended there,” he said.

The other person who was seriously injured in the Gudja blast last year, 16-year-old Alexander Bigeni, still goes to hospital every now and then, according to Mr Callus.

Besides physiotherapy, the teenager has had to undergo various operations on his legs.

Five other people were hospitalised last year but all suffered slight injuries and were released quickly.

Mr Callus said the incident had raised awareness about the dangers of makeshift confetti cannon and people have started consciously keeping a good distance from them during the village feasts.

Questions sent yesterday to the police about what action they had taken on confetti cannon since last year were not answered by the time of going to print.

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