In the early hours into the Lunar New Year celebration, five people were killed due to an explosion of fireworks in Rongan county in China’s southern region of Guangxi. The blast happened at 2 am on Tuesday, February 5, outside a store reportedly selling and storing the fireworks illegally.
China’s Xinhua News Agency reported that the blast ignited a fire that spread to four other houses. As a result of the blast and fire, five were killed and fourteen others forced to vacate their homes. Fortunately, the fire was extinguished a few hours later.
Authorities have arrested a Mr. Zhang, the owner of the store. Police believe that Zhang started the fire.
An urgent meeting was called later that morning, with police and firemen present, for the purpose of tracking down illegal firecrackers. These explosives are traditionally set off on the eve of the Lunar New Year, at midnight, when families are done with dinner. The firecrackers have fuses wrapped in red paper in celebration of the festival.
However, 499 cities across China have banned setting off firecrackers due to the injuries and fatalities that have resulted every year.
In February 2018, five people got hurt and four were killed due to a fireworks blast. One person in Yuxi in Yunnan province endeavored to set off some firecrackers, which caused the blast to occur. A few days later three more people died in Zaozhuang in Shandong province when fireworks caused the appliances in an illegal firework shop to be catch fire.
Just recently, Chongqing, a large city in the southwestern part of China, implemented a total ban on fireworks, which have been the cause of 410 injuries and 36 fires in the past few years.
Fireworks also contribute to China’s air pollution issues. In 2018, air pollution records were heightened within the first four days after Chinese New Year was celebrated.