January 1, 2019 8:34 am
Updated: January 1, 2019 11:04 am

3 people dead from fireworks accidents during New Year’s celebrations in Europe

Fireworks illuminate the night sky during New Year's celebrations in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Jan. 1, 2019.

EPA/NIELS WENSTEDT
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A 17-year-old boy has died after a powerful firework he was trying to light during New Year’s celebrations in Austria malfunctioned, police said Tuesday.

Upper Austria police said the teenager had attempted to fire a “ball bomb” from inside a metal tube when it exploded, inflicting serious head injuries. He was taken to a hospital in the town of Ried but later died.

Authorities in the Netherlands also said two people died in separate fireworks-related incidents overnight.

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Police in the eastern town of Enschede said officers found a man apparently killed by a fireworks explosion lying on the street shortly after midnight.

A 41-year-old man was reported killed as a result of fireworks in the North Sea town of Morra.

Setting off fireworks to herald the new year is a widespread tradition in Europe, despite the numerous injuries reported annually from misuse or faulty products.

Revellers wanting to celebrate in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate and in the centre of Hanover were banned from bringing or lighting fireworks this year.

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Unrelated to fireworks, in Moscow a wooden pedestrian bridge packed with revellers in the Russian capital’s renowned Gorky Park collapsed just minutes into the new year, injuring 13 people.

Video on Russian television showed a section of the bridge collapsing as the Russian national anthem played on loudspeakers, marking the beginning of 2019. The park in central Moscow is a popular gathering place for the holiday.

The bridge, some 350 metres (1,100 feet) long, runs the length of the park’s enormous outdoor ice rink.

The park said in a statement Tuesday that none of the injuries was severe but did not give details.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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