The Olympics

The Olympics


News, information and stories about the Olympic Games.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

China Bans Fireworks

China has announced a ban on all fireworks in Beijing leading up to and during the Olympics for safety reasons.

The firework ban will last from July 1 to October 8. The games begin on August 8.

The sale of firecrackers will also be banned, and all stocks will be stored in warehouses specially designated by the city's safety officials, the newspaper said.

People living within the area of the permanent ban are only allowed to use fireworks or firecrackers on special occasions, such as the lunar new year and other festivals, the paper added.

China's fireworks industry suffers from a reputation for notoriously lax safety standards and dozens of people are killed every year in fires set off by fireworks during the lunar new year.

Last Sunday, a visitor at a holiday resort in Beijing's Huairou district caused a fire that affected 800 square miles of hillside after setting off fireworks. He ran away, but the person who sold him the fireworks had his licence revoked, the police said.

Officials also introduced safety measures for petrol stations. Those within 300 yards of Olympic games venues must install video surveillance equipment and explosion-prevention devices.

"Gas stations can be dangerous places and we will attach great attention to preventing accidents," said Zhang Jiaming, the head of the Beijing administration of work safety.

China has already introduced a host of safety measures ahead of the Olympics, as it aims to ensure the event – designed to showcase its rise as a major power – goes smoothly.

Security has been stepped up at airports where passengers are banned from carrying lighters on to planes, and smoking has been partly banned in the capital to promote a healthier atmosphere.

It was not known how the ban would affect the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, which have been planned in secret. The Olympics run from August 8-24, followed by the September 6-17 Paralympic games, also taking place in Beijing.

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