A fireworks vendor surnamed Jin prepares for the opening of his shop on Tuesday at Fuchengmen, Xicheng district, Monday. Photo: Li Hao/GT
Following the fatal explosion involving a fireworks truck in Henan Province Friday, city safety authorities issued an emergency notice on storage and transportation of fireworks.
The notice, from the Beijing Administration of Work safety, requires fireworks wholesale companies in Beijing to take preventive measures against similar accidents. Overloaded trucks and driving while fatigued are strictly prohibited; temperatures should be controlled in fireworks warehouses and staff should be on high alert for 24 hours a day during the Spring Festival period.
Ten people died and 11 were injured due to the accident. According to a preliminary investigation, the fireworks truck exploded, leading to the collapse of the bridge on which it was driving. The fireworks were illegally produced and transported, according to the Ministry of Public Security's website.
A fireworks shop owner, surnamed Zhang, in Changping district said business has been affected by illegal fireworks.
"They hide the fireworks in rented homes and deliver them door-to-door using small minibuses. Their price is cheaper, so people buy them," said Zhang.
Zhang said he had only sold 1,000 yuan ($160) worth of fireworks Sunday, on a festival called Xiaonian, a huge decrease from last year's 5,000 yuan.
At another fireworks store in Fuchengmen, Xicheng district, the owner, surnamed Jin, said business has been affected by government calls to promote saving and oppose squander.
"We got fewer orders from work units this year. Those units usually buy fireworks as gifts to give customers or their bosses," said Jin.
While officials previously said it was too late to ban fireworks if pollution was severe, Kang Jiyong, general secretary of Beijing Fireworks Association, said if pollution is high, a ban might be enacted, said the Beijing News Monday.
Beijing will start to sell fireworks from Tuesday within the Fifth Ring Road.