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Fewer firework accidents in Beijing this New Year

THE number of accidents caused by fireworks on the eve of the Lunar New Year fell in Beijing this year, local authorities said today.

In the hour from midnight yesterday to 1am today, there were 25 accidents and 22 injuries caused by fireworks, down by 14 percent and 24 percent respectively from last year, said Liu Zhi, director of a municipal governmental office overseeing fireworks.

Some 83,000 boxes of fireworks were sold in Beijing yesterday, a decrease of 34 percent, and more than 10,000 boxes of illegal fireworks were confiscated.

The fireworks made Beijing's smog worse. The municipal environment bureau said pollutants rapidly increased from 8pm on New Year's eve sufficiently to cause "heavy pollution" at midnight.

Beijing deployed over 7,200 firefighters and 811 fire tenders from 6pm yesterday to 8am today to prepare for any possible fires.


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