Firm fined after firework accident

A FIREWORKS company has been ordered to pay £6,000 after a display at last year's Westlife concert in Ipswich went dangerously wrong.Rocket Pyrotechnics Ltd of Dartford pleaded guilty to offences under the Health And Safety At Work Act 1974 when it appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court.

A FIREWORKS company has been ordered to pay £6,000 after a display at last year's Westlife concert in Ipswich went dangerously wrong.

Rocket Pyrotechnics Ltd of Dartford pleaded guilty to offences under the Health And Safety At Work Act 1974 when it appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court.

The case followed an investigation by Ipswich council's environmental health department.

The fireworks display, held in July 2004 was the finale to the concert in Chantry Park.


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Magistrates heard that the company had failed to secure in place two unstable racks of class four fireworks, causing the explosives to topple over and shoot out into the crowd of Westlife fans.

The fireworks injured a member of the public and a security guard and burst through the metal fencing surrounding the concert.

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The security guard was hit in the ribs and his clothes caught fire, but there were no serious injuries during the incident.

Karen Dunne, Environmental Health Officer at Ipswich Borough Council, said today: “Fireworks of this nature at any display must be buried, staked or secured in place in some way to prevent them from falling over, otherwise the consequences could be fatal.”

At the time of the display, members of the audience told of their fears as fireworks whizzed over their heads.

One onlooker said: “A number of fireworks went off incorrectly and there were injuries. Fireworks even went through a wrought iron fence.”

n. Were you the security guard hit by the fireworks? Do you think the fine is enough? Call The Evening Star news desk on 01473 324788.

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