There are a lot of places that you’d expect hear about so many dead and injured… a kite festival isn’t one of them. This isn’t just any kite festival, however, this is the Basant festival in Lahore Pakistan.
As to what caused all the carnage, the list reads like a b-movie. While some people died from stray bullets that were fired off to celebrate the day, other people were killed by sharpened kite-strings, electrocution, and even good old fashioned falling off the roof.
The truly amazing thing about this story is that officials were not at all surprised by the incidents. It happens pretty much every year. As to how a kite string could be so dangerous, the flyers often coat their strings in ground glass so they can cut the strings of their opponents in mid-air.
The problem is so bad that kite flying is banned in Lahore, accept for the two days of the festival… when they apparently have their own version of The Purge, but with kites. Along with the dead and injured, police arrested more than 700 people for using sharpened kite strings or firing guns, and seized 282 illegally held weapons.
Five of those who died on Sunday were hit by stray bullets, including a 6-year-school boy who was struck in the head near his home in the city’s Mazang area, Bano said.
A 16-year-old girl and a school boy, 12, died after their throats were slashed by metal kite strings in separate incidents. Two people were electrocuted while they tried to recover kites tangled in overhead power cables, Bano said.
A 13-year-old boy fell to his death from the roof of his home as he tried to catch a stray kite, and a 35-year-old woman fell off the roof of her home trying to stop her son from running after a stray kite, Bano said.