Massive New Year fireworks haul seized on safety grounds

Police have seized fireworks which they say were 80 times above the legal limit allowed for private storage.

Officers in the German city of Hamburg say a tip-off from the 23-year old suspect’s neighbour led them to discover pyrotechnics with a total weight of 850kg (134 stone/1,873 pounds).

The haul included 80kg of explosive substances. The legal limit is one.

The fireworks were packed into the suspect’s apartment, cellar and two vans, a police spokeswoman told the DPA news agency.

Fireworks including rockets, like in the UK, are an essential part of New Year’s festivities in Germany.

Consumers spent €137m (£123m) on them over the three days of permitted sale last year.

Many are fired from balconies and even roof-tops while rockets and other fireworks accounted for two fatalities in the country on New Year’s Eve alone last year.

A 14-year-old is reported to have losing fingers to firecracker blasts gone wrong, while an 18-year-old was hospitalised for severe burns.

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