A night of gunpowder, Whitehall failure and rant
Deregulation blamed for Chinese-made peril
Tuesday 05 November 1996
They said the Government had shrugged off warnings of increased danger to the public, and had ignored advice on how to keep the import and testing licensing regime introduced for fireworks in 1989.
Following the revelation that that two deaths at the weekend were caused by Chinese-made fireworks, safety campaigners said dangerous and sub- standard devices from the Far East were putting lives at risk. They feared that the death toll from fireworks could be even higher after Bonfire Night tonight.
Nigel Griffiths, Labour consumer affairs spokesman, said deregulation had "compromised public safety" and called for a closer monitoring of imports: "Against the advice of safety experts, the firework industry and Trading Standards Officers, the Department of Trade and Industry swept away import rules that required specific licences for imported fireworks," he said.
"Injuries immediately reach- ed levels not seen in the UK for over 20 years. There must now be much closer monitoring of imports so there is complete accountability for all fireworks."
The Government said yesterday that European legislation on free trade had forced the removal in January 1993 of the import licence system - in which companies had to provide full details of any shipments to the Health and Safety Executive, which was responsible for testing that imports met BS7714, covering construction, composition and labelling.
David Hattersley, the headmaster who died, was killed by a firework with no make or brand name. Steve Timcke, a 34-year-old city trader, was killed by a firework with instructions in Chinese only.
Mel Barker, managing director of Standard Fireworks: "I went to see the minister in 1992 to say we thought [deregulation] was a retrograde step . . . I said `Don't call it an import licence. Call it a safety licence. Call it what you want, but don't take away this vital piece of information.' Their reaction was they couldn't do it . . . Yes, we foresaw these problems."
- 1 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Now diplomacy has failed, boycotting Israel might be the only way we can protect the people of Gaza
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
Russell Brand accuses Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of a crying Orlando Bloom after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
Air Algerie AH5017 crash: Jet fell 30,000 feet in three minutes ‘due to violent storm’
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >
£180 - £250 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Financial Accountants - Key Banking...
£200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...
£18000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Computer Futures are currently...
£18000 - £27000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Sales - Trainee Recruitment Co...