At least 26 people were killed and 4,368 others injured in Iran between February 20 and March 14 in incidents related to the celebrations of Chaharshanbe Suri, or the Fire Festival held two days back, official news agency IRNA reported.
Among the injured, 229 people were amputated for serious injuries and 1,428 others sustained eye injuries, Jafar Miadfar, head of Iran's National Medical Emergency Organization, was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
The number of casualties this year has registered a year-on-year increase of 22 per cent, according to Miadfar. The provinces with the most casualties were Tehran, East Azarbaijan, Hamedan, West Azarbaijan, Qazvin, and Fars, said Miadfar.
Men make up 79 per cent of those injured, while 44 per cent of those injured aged between six to 18 years, he added. The Fire Festival is celebrated by Iranians on the eve of the last Wednesday before Nowruz, the Iranian new year that begins on March 21 this year.
Celebrations often start days before the festival, Xinhua news agency reported. Iranians celebrate the Fire Festival by jumping over bonfires and lighting firecrackers in public places to bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new one.