Black Nazarene back in church; 700 hurt in procession

Black Nazarene back in church; 700 hurt in procession

MANILA, Philippines — Authorities reported no deaths but at least 700 devotees were injured in Wednesday’s traslacion, a procession to mark the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila.

The National Capital Region Police Office said at least 714 devotees were treated for dizziness, fainting, lacerations and fractures, NCRPO chief Director Guillermo Eleazar said yesterday.

Last year, a devotee died after taking part in the procession and at least 300 were given medical assistance.

This year’s procession lasted around 21 hours on the 6.15-kilometer procession route.

Eleazar said 1.4 million devotees took part in the runup to the traslacion from Dec. 31 to Jan. 8 while 2.5 million took part in the procession.

The Manila Police District, on the other hand, said at least four million devotees joined the traslacion.

No incidents?

Eleazar said “no untoward incident was recorded except for the arrest of a snatcher” during the procession.

John Mark Labrador, 19, was arrested at a police checkpoint along Palanca street in Quiapo, Manila Wednesday morning for carrying a small plastic bottle that allegedly contained dried marijuana leaves and a tube pipe with marijuana reside.

At least two devotees also figured in a fistfight along Vergara street, also in Quiapo, Wednesday afternoon, but fellow devotees promptly broke up the fight. Police have yet to identify those involved in the fistfight.