2020-08-10 10:11:44

The government of Shanxi province in northern China is set to ban the production and use of fireworks in the coming months, state broadcaster China Central Television reported Sunday.

Fireworks-related business operations and transportation, as well as the celebratory use of fireworks, will be banned in the entire province starting Oct. 1, according to the media report. However, fireworks will be permitted during festivals and special events with government approval, which will also determine the time and place for professionals to set them off.

The motive for the provincial government’s ban on fireworks is unclear.

On Wednesday, Chinese authorities ordered immediate “special inspection and rectification” of places — including ports, businesses, and warehouses — storing hazardous chemicals. The directive came a day after a massive explosion at an ammonium nitrate warehouse killed more than 200 people and injured thousands in Lebanon’s capital Beirut.

In recent years, China has strengthened supervision over explosives nationwide, citing safety concerns. Several cities have restricted the sale and use of fireworks during important celebrations, including the Lunar New Year, to curb air pollution.

Accidents involving fireworks production have also resulted in additional industry oversight.

Last December, officials in the central Hunan province were removed from their posts for covering up the number of casualties in a fireworks factory explosion that killed 13 and injured 17. In February the same year, five people in the southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region had been killed in an explosion at a store suspected of illegally storing and selling fireworks.

Editor: Bibek Bhandari.

(Header image: People watch a fireworks show in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, 2007. UGI/People Visual)