Firm fined for Westlife fireworks horror

By Jonathan BarnesA PYROTECHNICS company has been ordered to pay £6,000 for a fireworks accident at a sell-out pop concert.Music fans at boy band Westlife's concert in Chantry Park, Ipswich, last July had to dive for cover when stray fireworks shot into the crowd.

By Jonathan Barnes

A PYROTECHNICS company has been ordered to pay £6,000 for a fireworks accident at a sell-out pop concert.

Music fans at boy band Westlife's concert in Chantry Park, Ipswich, last July had to dive for cover when stray fireworks shot into the crowd.

The misfiring explosives caused minor injuries to one member of the public and a security guard, and burst through a metal fence surrounding the venue.


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Ipswich Borough Council launched an investigation into the incident, which came at the finale of the chart-topping Irish group's set.

Rocket Pyrotechnics Ltd, from Dartford, Kent, appeared before magistrates in Ipswich this week and pleaded guilty to offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

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The council said the company had failed to secure two sets of class four fireworks in place. This caused the explosives to topple over and shoot out into the crowd.

Rocket Pyrotechnics, which operates nationally, was fined £6,000, including costs.

Karen Dunne, council environmental health officer, said: “Fireworks of this nature at any fireworks display must be buried, staked or secured in place in some way to prevent them from falling over, otherwise the consequences could be fatal.”

Westlife's visit to Ipswich created a wave of hysteria for thousands of pop fans across the region.

A huge stage was set up in Chantry Park for the occasion and the show included a cartoon introduction, a spectacular light show and the fireworks finale.

Other performers who thrilled the crowds on the night included Blazin Squad and Peter Andre.

jonathan.barnes@eadt.co.uk

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