21,000-tonne haul of illegal fireworks detonated in Peru

Peru has some of the strictest regulations on fireworks in Latin America 

Click to follow
The Independent US

As fireworks displays go, this is about as good as it's going to get.

On Thursday, authorities in Peru  detonated nearly 21 tonnes of illegal fireworks.

The huge haul was exploded above a remote site in greater Lima in an operation led by the Andean country’s arms control body (SUCAMEC).

"This is the most important burning of explosives carried out in the history of SUCAMEC," said Juan Dulanto, who presided over the explosion.

"It is unlikely to be repeated - nearly 21 tonnes which is a significant amount of stock we have taken from the market."

Peru has some of the strictest regulations on fireworks in Latin America after a blaze in a fireworks warehouse in 2001 killed hundreds.

Around 300 people were killed in the fire in central Lima, which reportedly began when a salesman lit a firework to show to a customer in a narrow street outside a busy shopping area.

The victims included small children who were killed in the streets as the fire swept through four blocks of shops and rundown apartment buildings.

Former President Alejandro Toledo declared the day as a national day of mourning and said at the time he planned to ban the production and sale of fireworks, but it is now tightly controlled with large fines and jail time for offenders. 

Earlier this month in the UK, thousands of people signed a petition calling for a ban on the sale of fireworks after a dog who ran away at the sound of a firework was later found drowned at sea. 

The online petition, submitted to the Government petitions website, asks for Parliament to “ban the sale of fireworks to the public and only approve organised displays,” and as of bonfire night had attracted more than 57,500 signatures. 

The creator of the petition, Mike Old, told The Independent he launched the campaign after a dog in his local area was found swept up at sea after being “spooked” by fireworks set off by a group of youngsters on the beach on 17 October.

Comments