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Police warning after man loses fingers igniting fireworks

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The use of fireworks without the possession of a relevant licence is illegal and dangerous, police warned on Saturday after a 29-year-old man lost three fingers while trying to light fireworks.

Police referred to “negligent and reckless acts” and the “illegal possession and use of explosives” after the man was injured while lighting fireworks he had purchased from his local kiosk to celebrate a friend’s wedding.

The incident happened in an open space in Larnaca around midnight on Friday. The man did not have the relevant license.

The 29-year-old suffered a serious injury on his left palm and had to have three of his fingers amputated. He was later transferred via ambulance to another clinic in Limassol district where he is expected to undergo further surgery. His condition is stable according to his doctors.

Following the incident, police issued advice on the use of fireworks.

Permission from the inspector of explosive substances is required who will appoint an authorised person to oversee licensed fireworks at a specific time and place, the police’s announcement said.

“Non-compliance with the relevant legislation is a crime and anyone found to be illegal will be prosecuted in accordance with the law,” police said.

The authority explained that while upon lighting the fireworks develop temperatures that can reach up to 400C and release hot gases.

All licensed fireworks go through strict quality controls and are certified at a European level by specific organisations and therefore have instructions in Greek, as well as CE marking.

Arbitrarily lighting fireworks can lead to “very serious injuries and fatalities” not only to the user but also unsuspecting people who could be a long way away, the announcement added.

Another danger is the possibility of causing a fire, which can happen again at very long distances from the firework.

Police called on the public to contribute in a collective joint effort to eliminate what is dangerous activity.

To report any incidents, the public may contact the local police station of the citizen’s line at 1460.

 

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